Editor’s Note: JoAnn Hackos is well known to anyone who’s been in technical communication, or information development, for more than a day. Serving as Executive Director of the Center for Information Development Management (CIDM), Chair of the OASIS DITA Adoption Technical Committee, and President of Comtech Services probably doesn’t leave her much free time, so we were delighted that she had time to compose the following letter to Santa.
I wish that you would bring information developers respect from their colleagues. Too often, information developers are treated as second-class corporate citizens rather than full participants in building customer satisfaction.
At the same time, it is important that the information developers also work to earn respect. That means focusing on what customers really need to know about using a product or system most effectively. That means getting to know the customers directly, either through direct visits, meetings, and conversations, or indirectly through social media that focuses on information needs.
As post-sales advocates, information developers have a responsibility for customer satisfaction that should work hand-in-hand with training and service and support.
As we know, customers now use the technical information on websites and reviews by colleagues as an central part of purchase decisions.
So Santa, don’t let anyone tell you that information isn’t essential to a company’s success. Building the best information, information that is really needed, and delivering it effectively deserves respect.