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Technical Writing Advocacy

Posted by ClickHelp TeamClickHelp Teamin Technical Writing on 1/24/2020 — 2 minute read

people having discusion

Most people expect technical documentation to be one hundred percent neutral. We know that technical writers should ‘terraform’ the most complicated pieces of data and turn them into structured user manuals. There’s no place for ‘I’, for bias, for being opinionated in techcomm. Or is there?

In the article called ‘How to Up the Drama in your Technical Documentation‘, we talk about the possibilities of dry technical texts being more ‘human’ so to speak. And this concerns not only readers, producing so much generic text can be devastating for the content creators as well. Especially it takes a toll on the tech writers who love literature and find joy in writing something more poetic.

In fact, we touched upon a similar idea in our recent post about adding metaphors to user manuals to humanize them. That’s not the only reason for using this stylistic device, but it is an important one.

However, there is a way to turn things around called advocacy technical writing.

3 Pillars of Advocacy in Tech Writing

hands on laptop

No doubt, being an advocate in technical writing is a mindset. This is the right path for someone who feels the calling to communicate things to readers that they truly believe. This kind of communication can often be spotted in non-profit organizations, public health organizations, politics.

Technical advocacy lies somewhere between technical communication, politics, and marketing. It is a fine combination of the three where each aspect is of equal importance.

The techcomm itself is the basis. Its role is clear expression of ideas and facts. Marketing steps in to make this flow of data laser-targeted. Who are you writing for? What is the best way to do it? Marketing skills help a lot to leverage the writing process, define the bandwidth of possible advocacy tools.

Understanding political processes adds a lot of value to the cause, especially when dealing with politics-related technical writing. Without understanding political processes you will feel at a loss and your writing will lack credibility, hence the lack of trust which is deadly for this kind of enterprise where understanding the right angle guarantees success.

Aside from the three elements, what’s important is that one must be an expert in the topic to be able to advocate for a cause through technical text. Having the right background is perfect, however, great results can be achieved through self-study. We are lucky to live in the 21st century where the possibilities to learn are unlimited.


woman on a couch with laptop

We have proven yet one more time that technical writing is a much more diverse field than one might think. Types of technical documentation are so varied and techcomm advocacy adds even more twist to your possible career.

Advocating for the right cause, sharing your knowledge with readers and showing them why this idea deserves their attention is what an advocate in tech writing does. If you feel like you want to do something more, you are tired of routinely describing tools and features, this might be exactly the shift you want to make.

Good luck with your technical writing!
ClickHelp Team
Author, host and deliver documentation across platforms and devices

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