Here’s a Way for Training Teams to Gain Access to More Resources
One of the challenges technical communications teams are faced with is the need to constantly promote visibility. Tech comm suffers from lack of a “sexy” reputation. Unlike marketing or R&D, who are are natural candidates for the Rockstar shortlist, tech comm teams have to invest in making their contribution to the organization more present.
Much of this has to do with getting management to understand the importance of quality documentation, the amount of skill it requires and the importance of the craft. So how can technical writing teams stay ahead of the curve in this shifting world when budgets are cut and every expense is weighted?
Getting creative: pooling resources to expand
It’s not that the resources don’t exist – it’s that they’re invested elsewhere. An interesting approach more and more tech comm teams are taking is to join resources with marketing teams.
Sounds completely unrelated and bizarre? Far from it. Here’s why you should consider this strategic move, and what your training team can get out of it:
1. Growth is always a priority – in most enterprise organizations, marketing teams are usually well funded. Company growth is always a strategic priority, even when customer retention is no longer in the limelight (retention – and everything it requires, like help documentation).
2. Sharing tools helps to lower expenditure – writing teams often use the same tools, whether they are word processors, collaboration tools, and even Photoshop or various design tools. Sometimes simply sharing resources and introducing your own tool box to the other team can increase everyone’s wealth.
3. Help content has marketing value – quite a bit of the material generated by technical communications can also serve marketing purposes. For instance: product releases can be leveraged to serve as a platform for internal marketing. Likewise tools that serve for internal communications with users and can be used to deliver specific messages.
4. It’s time to get on the same page of content strategy – only good can come out of this union: seize the opportunity to consolidate the organizational content strategy. Speaking in one voice, adhering to the same style guides and communicating the same tone and brand messaging will lead to better organizational visibility.
5. Writing is a resource – we’re used to thinking of “resources” in terms of money and time, but skill and experience are resources much in demand. It’s not only copy-writers who have to acquire new skills – as a writer’s skill set widens to become more diverse, so does her/his marketability grow.
Enterprise organizations often encourage inter-disciplinary collaborations. In addition to the more efficient resource management, bonds like these are a great opportunity for learning organizations to flourish. Bringing together marketing objectives and customer support principles is a match made in heaven, and the biggest winner would be the training team.