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Subject:Re: Work with the marketeers! From:Virginia_Day -at- DATACARD -dot- COM Date:Fri, 9 Apr 1999 09:12:59 -0500
Geoff Hart writes
Given that they informed you in the first place, it looks like
you've got that rarest of birds: a marketing department that
actually understands the fact that internal communication is
useful... and they may even understand the notion of _two-
way_ communication. That being the case, utter shrill cries of
delight and immediately leap upon the opportunity to work
with them. </snip>
I agree with Geoff. In a market-driven organization, Marketing is supposed to
call the shots about what makes up a product, including which manuals are
included, available for purchase, and--in general--what they contain. If
Marketing knows its role, you should be able to get their assistance in
addressing issues that you've previously had trouble with. (Some of my best
allies for good docs are in marketing.) For example:
Who is the audience? You should expect them to clearly profile the users, the
market niche, and the ways a product will be used, including tasks, time frames
(20-minutes from install to use), and which users do which tasks.
What is the new look and feel for products? This is a great way to get outdated
templates, formats, outlines, etc. changed. It can also help you streamline
your documentation and get rid of confusing information that engineering wants
to include. Finally, this can help you get away from outdated writing styles and
implement a style that's consistent with current writing standards.
You might want to "compare notes" with marketing to see what their gripe list is
compared to yours. You might even be able to substitute a few of your items for
one or two of theirs.
On the other hand, if Marketing really doesn't know what they're doing, they
will drive sales down and working with them will be an early warning of
impending layoffs. This is a tough one, because its easy to confuse agreeing
with them and knowing whether they're competent.