Technical/Marketing Writing, Team Building, and some other observations

Subject: Technical/Marketing Writing, Team Building, and some other observations
From: "Paula Puffer" <pcosweb -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 1999 15:40:06 GMT

For the person who asked if you feel torn by doing the technical and marketing writing. My answer is No.

Currently I have a couple of web projects I am working on outside of my software documentation contract. I love my current contract, but I love the outlet for creativity that the web projects give me. The biggest of the two web projects has given me a great deal of experience of doing Marketing Writing. At the start, it was really hard for me to do the marketing writing, but it's now getting easier.
A lot of marketing writing involves writing letters of requests to other webmasters, and posting announcements to our e-mail lists about the new things on the site.

Interestingly enough, the organization that I'm webmaster for has been restructuring and merging groups together to try and get rid of duplication in staff and projects. We had a lot of duplicate projects between the PR committee and the Web Committee. Opening up the lines of communication has really helped fostering communication as a whole.

What the Exec. Director did to help foster team work is to make sure that each of the various committess had good leadership at its head.
She also took the time to listen to complaints and the frustration, and the ideas/solutions we had during this growth period. It's created a great atmosphere to be a part of.

(BTW the Exec. Director loves technical writers, there are three of us who are involved and we're all applying our skills--Webmaster, grant writing, and document processes--to support the group).

As a contrast, the last contract position I had (writing operation manuals) was the job from Hades. My boss wouldn't listen to suggestions that would have made the process a lot easier. I asked to design a template early on in the project, and that was shot down because it would be too time consuming. Then when it was discovered that one of the leads had screwed up on page size of my book, I ended up implementing the template because it would allow me to work faster. They also had a tendency to threaten you with overtime. Not to mention the fact that the other documentation did not want to pass informaiton that we needed to us. Whew I am glad I am out of there.

The difference between these two is someone communicating with you and respecting the skills you have.

Sorry this is kind of jumbled--I need another cup of Java (the liquid kind)

Paula Puffer
webmaestra -at- pcosupport -dot- org

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