Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Story Of A Technical Newsletter

Writing Technical Newsletters is fun and challenging too. There can be numerous sources for a newsletter - Subject Matter Experts (SME), product brochures, catalogs, textbooks, user manuals, websites, product demo videos/ presentations, trainings,lab sessions, and other newsletters.

The initial source of all information is the Subject Matter Expert /Line Manager. And they review the final content too. Line Managers disapprove of too much theory or examples that is never implemented in the field. Content that does not directly lead to money in the business is taboo for Line Managers and Business Unit heads. Sometimes, content that is sensitive and controversial is cut off. However, a writer has to strike a balance and bring about coherence and clarity in the subject presented.

Click here to view a newsletter on Cables.

Few enthusiastic business heads will take you to the field or workplace. I once visited Spencer Plaza and CTS where Building Management Systems(BMS) with huge chillers, fire alarm systems, and IP-based security systems were implemented. I worked on a BMS software project too. It was interesting to write a newsletter after seeing and implementing the systems in the field.

Click here to view a newsletter on BMS written after site visits.

The feedback for the Technical Newsletters was that they were too technical! Directors wondered if people had time to read and understand 10 page content. So, i was advised to come out with short newsletters. Again i had to strike a balance and come out with two versions of each newsletter - 10 pagers for seniors and single pagers for freshers.

Click here to read a single pager of the BMS newsletter.

You need to keep in mind the font style of the company too, e.g. Times New Roman, 12 pt , and 1.5 lines spacing.

Click here to view a newsletter on Fibre Optics with a crossword puzzle.

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