It used to be so simple. A technical writer would meet with an engineer, gather information, write it up—in longhand—on a legal pad, and then send the information off to the typing pool. After some revisions, the typed manuscript and perhaps hand-drawn graphics would be delivered to the printer and, eventually, a book appeared. Over time, legal pads were replaced with typewriters; then, typewriters were replaced with computers. In addition to producing text, technical writers accepted page layout and pre-press production responsibilities.
Today, writers cannot “just write.” First, they must decide what information is needed to support a particular product, who will create that information, and how to best deliver the information to their audience. They need a content strategy.
In this webcast recording, Sarah O'Keefe discusses how to get started with content strategy for technical communication.