How to increase awareness of tech comm inside corporate walls

Presented by: Tom Johnson


I’ve been a blogger writing about tech comm for 15+ years, and in that time have increased awareness and education of tech comm to thousands of tech writers globally.

However, creating the same awareness about tech comm inside corporate walls has been a different challenge that has frequently eluded me.

Like many tech writers, I’ve often felt somewhat invisible to the engineering and product teams, business executives, and other stakeholders around me. It’s easy to feel left out of the loop, to interact with people who have little idea about tech writer processes for authoring and publishing, who don’t understand what we do, where we publish, or who we even are.

Recently, I’ve begun to discover some blogging-like strategies that actually work within the corporate context. Not by creating an internal blog and spamming everyone in the company, nor by trolling corporate interest groups with linkbait. Instead, there are some simple strategies for  boosting awareness of tech comm within the corporate context. The strategies require some writing effort and can put you out of your comfort zone, but the formula essentially follows the same strategy for awareness on the web, which is to create relevant content and share it with those around you on a regular basis.

Following this formula, others in your company will be aware of doc resources, what you’re publishing, upcoming features, how your group works, your doc challenges, strategies, and more. If you follow these strategies, your group and documentation will be much more visible to those around you.

About our Speaker

In case you’d like to know a little bit about me, I’m a technical writer currently based in Seattle, working for Google. (Previously, I was at Amazon and a couple of startups in the Bay area.)

Like most technical writers, I stumbled into technical writing after working in other fields. I originally taught writing for a couple of years at The American University in Cairo (Egypt), and then I worked as a copywriter in Florida.

To my surprise, I found that I actually liked technical writing — a lot more than copywriting. Technical writing combines my love for writing with my fascination for technology.

Yes, I’m married and have four children. I met my wife Shannon at BYU in the Writing Fellows program — she was an English major too. (In case you’re curious, we used to be Mormon, but now we are not.)

To read more about Tom, read his amazing blog, I’d Rather Be Writing.