Caught between tech writing and marketing

Subject: Caught between tech writing and marketing
From: Emily_Cotlier -at- cardlink -dot- co -dot- nz
To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTS -dot- RAYCOMM -dot- COM
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 1999 11:39:41 +1200

I am a technical writer who is working under the aegis of a marketing
department, all of 3 people including me, at a small company of 60 people.
This happened because of internal politics (and my own self interest, since
the Marketing manager is that precious rarity, a good manager). As time
goes on, though, and our IT division improves in management, I am starting
to feel a conflict between involvement in IT and involvement in marketing
projects. I'm working on it from my end, but I'm wondering; are other tech
writers working in both the tech writing and marketing areas of their
companies? And do they feel torn?

For the marketing, I work a lot on proposals, proofread and edit in
general, and write product overviews. In collaboration, I've written 2/3 of
our web site content and our current Company Profile. Frequently technical
documents are commissioned specifically for marketing purposes, i.e., to
win us new clients, but at the same time requiring extensive work with the
SMEs. Based on our manuals, I've created detailed product overviews to
explain our programs and the related business processes to potential and
current clients. All in all, a lot of marketing/tech writing overlap,
varied and as interesting as credit card management programs get.

The bad part is that I have to struggle to be involved in areas I see other
tech writers working in, like QA, product interface/navigation reviews,
user training, and tech document management--basically things that fall
outside of the marketing/tech writing overlap.

Curious to hear others' experiences....

Emily Cotlier
Technical Writer
Cardlink Systems Limited
Auckland, New Zealand
(alumnus of Drexel tech writing graduate program)

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