Comment on copy

21 years ago   •   1 min read

By Marcia Kadanoff

Generally speaking ,the best comments to come from a technical product manager (who is often asked to comment on behalf of engineering) or from a VP of Engineering or CTO on a piece of marketing communications are ones that show you understand what the marketing person is trying to accomplish and are supportive of that intent.

A great technique to demonstrate your understanding is by asking the right questions. This is also a good opportunity for you to educate the marketing person on how the marketing strategy touches the technology strategy and vis-versa. Important if the two organizations are to remain in synch. The best way to get a marketing person to see things from your view point with respect to marketing strategy issues is by:

  • commenting (versus rewriting) the non-technical aspects of the copy
  • limiting your rewrites to only those portions of the copy that is not technically correct.

Here are 4 guidelines that may help:

DO feel free to rewrite any copy of a technical nature

if it is not correct and to propose these rewrites for what they are – verbatim changes you are suggesting in order to describe the product correctly from a technical perspective.

DO feel free to suggest changes in word choices, tone, or style

if the piece is designed to go to a technical decision maker. The presumption is that your point of view and knowledge will be closer to the target’s than will be the marketing person’s. The converse is also true. The less technical the decision maker, the more you’ll want to defer to marketing, since they would then have the closer affinity to the target.

DON’T dictate any non-essential changes in copy

as it will only defocus the marketing person from the rewrites you MUST HAVE in the piece is to be technically correct.

DO feel free to point out writos and typos

A good marketing person tries to eliminate these entirely. But even so, another pair of eyes always helps, especially in these fast times, when turnaround cycles are greatly compressed.

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