Stealth Mode

I don’t know about you but I’m getting fed up trying to make everyone realise the value of what we do. Technical Communicators of the world unite!

Why is it so darn hard? Isn’t it obvious? We live in a so-called “information age” after all, so why is it such a struggle to get the message across?

So, for the meantime, I’ve stopped.

My team currently has a separate stream of work looking at how we get better at PR and whilst that runs its course I’ve decided to deploy a different tactic, one which has fallen into my lap. No more will I go cap in hand to department heads, no more will I try to coax, nudge and cajole others into understanding why product information is so important. I won’t roll out the usual reasons, and I will save my “part of the product life-cycle” spiel.

You see, we’ve been receiving requests from different parts of the organisation, based on some work we did in the past. Lots of people are looking for help. At the moment, all of the team are busy but I’m going to pick one of the requests and find a way to get it actioned. That way we will get a quick win and increase our profile a little (it really is great to be part of such a good team, their work speaks for itself) and it should give us an ‘in’, an opportunity to build a relationship with a different part of the business, learn how they work and in time expand what we do as part of our service to them.

Land and expand. Simple really.

At present I know there are many areas of the company producing content. I also know that many of them would benefit from our input, just as I know we don’t currently have the resource and, without a lot of up front research I’m not sure I would be able to guess at what resource would be required to cover the current requirements. Creating the business case to expand operations would take time, and even then a lot of the effort goes into educating people as to why consistent, reliable, re-usable product information is a “good thing”.

With that in mind, getting a foot in the door (landing) before getting involved and agreeing a level of delivery for the future (expanding) seems the most sensible way forward. It allows us to get a feel for where we can best be involved and over time we can increase our influence, and standing, within the company.

Now, where I can buy some ninja costumes?

Written By

Long time blogger, Father of Jack, geek of many things, random photographer and writer of nonsense.

Doing my best to find a balance.

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Craig says:

So you’re producing content, but not strictly as a technical communicator? I agree with your “stealth mode” tone, but not exactly sure what you’re doing now.

cksr says:

That is some good advice.

I found myself in a similar position a few years ago. I had some success while working on smaller projects with quick a turnaround (people actively sought my help). However, I was unable to make much headway into larger projects (where documentation was always forgotten about until payment depended on it). In the end, I became frustrated and left the organization.

I hope that you have more luck than I did!

Craig, the team produces product documentation for a variety of audiences, but we also provide a business service, writing product descriptions for use by our Presales and Product Marketing teams.

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