Using Technical Marketing

Working as a full time technical communicator and professor for years, I have received quite a few questions by both my students and by various organizational management on what it means to be a technical communicator versus a technical writer. Yes– I said organizational management. Technical communication is a broad field from white papers to manuals, data sheets, technical blog posts, applications, how-to’s, video training instructions, vlogs and more. Today technical communication encompasses not just documents but all kinds of media and crosses other fields once thought to be silos in the workplace.

I want to discuss technical marketing. Working in this area of technical communication the last several years I have come to realize how much technical marketing relies on technical writing to take complex information and make it succinct.  Fields overlap in technical communication in general, which is why the term technical communication is commonly used today instead of technical writing. Technical marketing is one of the fields where there is even more overlap. Think of it like technical writing meets the marketing pitch. Confused as to how technical writing is used in marketing? This confuses quite a few people, so no worries.

Technical marketing is any type of marketing that concentrates on specifications and key product features that fulfill a need for customers and businesses (B2B) requiring an understanding of technical aspects of a product. Technical writing is used to convert product  information clearly and concisely for a user to gain knowledge. The buyer can make informed decisions on products/services or discover new products/services they might want. Think of technical marketing as a part of a bigger marketing plan in a technology related business.

Generally technical marketing is done in a high tech industry but it is becoming commonplace in fields not considered high tech. Businesses such as oil, gas, manufacturing are using more intricate product that are integrating tech. For example, the process industry is pushing the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). IIoT is being adopted so that instruments that were once siloed at a facility, are on their own Intranet relaying real time information for maintenance and monitoring.

Technical marketing supports customers and businesses who need to get information on the ever-growing complex tech market. Each aspect of a marketing plan can contain technical writing. Marketing automation, for example, can consist of email blasts and educational or nurturing drip campaigns that are used to deliver technical newsletters and key targeted technical information to customers who already have considerable knowledge in their field.

Social media can be used to deliver all sorts of technical content such as instructional videos, technical blog posts, and problem solvers to a wider audience. Inbound marketing opportunities can be created with useful technical examples, such as procedures or processes, posted on a company’s website with links to products to help solve a need.

Today technical communication is more important than ever in creating clear and concise content with the ever growing amount of information on the Internet. Technical marketing plays an important role in bringing products to market and technical information to customers.

Fantastic Time at the SCBWI LA Working Writer’s Retreat

This year I attended the LA Working Writer’s Retreat in September generously run by SCBWI. Lots of one-on-one work and I found some great new friends. I highly recommend this retreat if you have something written and want feedback or just general improvement in your writing in either picture book, middle grade, or young adult.  This year Stephanie Guerdan (Knight Literary Agency), Nephele Tempest (Assistant Editor at Harper Collins) and Victoria Wells Arms (Wells Arms Literary) provided incredible input and dicussion. Thanks for all the crits and warm feedback. Slots fill up very quickly so if you plan on attending next year, be ready to apply. If your not a member of SCBWI, join!

You can review more at the SCBWI page.

2017 SCBWI Summer Conference

The 2017 SCBWI Summer Conference this year is going to be packed with amazing speakers and panels. Agents like Jennifer Laughran and  Alexandra Penfold, as well as editors like Bethany BuckZareen Jaffery, and Kendra Levin will be there.  Keynotes by awesome writers like Kwame Alexander and Laurie Halse Anderson.

Even better, it’s at the JW Marriot at LA Live!  I can’t wait and will attend. Dates are July 7-9. Look forward to seeing friends, writers, and editors there.

Check out more info at:  https://www.scbwi.org/events/46th-annual-summer-conference-in-los-angeles-la17/

scbwi

Lu Kondor now a Member of AWP

Lu Kondor is now a member of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs. AWP provides community, opportunities, ideas, news and advocacy for writers and teachers of writing.

AWP provides support and advocacy with their podcast series on writing and making a living as a writer as well as other topics such as women writers, gender in writing, and finding voice.

Details at https://www.awpwriter.org/

Try Technical Writing by Taking the Advanced Tech writing Course at CSUDH

IMG_0720 Do you like to write and would love to do it for a living? Try technical writing. No need to be a ‘techie’ or scientific guru. With practice, you can find out how technical writing is a great tool in a writers tool box.

Students who want to take the Advanced Technical Communication course so they can get right to creating portfolio pieces (before they take the Introduction course) are welcome to do that. The class is immersive. I teach the Advanced course and we focus on creating a portfolio of pieces (which is normally requested by potential clients and employers) and are a great way to learn how to write even if you want writing as your secret weapon in your job. We write a lot.

Some of the things I cover in the advanced class include presentations, reports, proposals, and step-by-step instructions. Check out my FAQ page for answers to the most asked questions I get in the course. The class is totally online and you will come away with several portfolio pieces. I’ve had students get jobs before they finish the program.

For more detailed info, check out California State University Dominguez Hills’ web site at:

http://www4.csudh.edu/ceie/Technical-Writing/