Here’s what we’ve been bookmarking and reading over the past month across the fields of content strategy, tech comm, UX and digital communications recruitment.
Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) has gained widespread adoption in the techcomm field, as both a tool and a standard for structured technical writing. Through semantic tagging and an XML architecture, it facilitates the re-use of content across different outputs and helps thousands of organisations around the world to deliver content more efficiently and cost-effectively.
And so it was with great interest that we received The Content Wrangler’s 2017 survey, which offers preliminary aggregate results on how satisfied adopters really are with DITA, as well as how they rate the benefits and the challenges.
Technical communication professionals working at 250 companies around the world have taken part so far. The DITA Satisfaction Survey is still open to DITA users – click here to have your say or read on for the survey highlights. Continue reading
Recently we highlighted earnings and freelance rates in the world of copywriting, according to the 2017 Professional Copywriters’ Network (PCN) survey. But the research also revealed a number of issues on the client side of hiring in copywriters.
Among the 500 UK copywriters who responded to the survey, 35% said that only some of their clients were comfortable judging copy; 5% admitted that only a few were. The survey concluded that some clients would “benefit from support when it comes to commissioning, critiquing and approving copy”.
Almost all respondents said some of their clients would benefit from advice on commissioning copy, for example, with only 10% saying few clients needed help instructing copywriters.
The main problems copywriters faced on receiving a work brief were a lack of basic information on content, tone and voice, and little guidance on who they were writing for. Continue reading
Firehead is now offering workshops in customer journey mapping (CJM) – a very useful skill for content professionals to add to their content toolkit as it helps brands understand how the user experiences and interacts with their content across multiple touch-points and channels.
Our CJM training is run as a classroom-based workshop in conjunction with our training partner Urbina Consulting, The course covers key concepts and theory, as well as practical exercises. It is suitable for techcomm and content professionals, and managers seeking strategic insight into how to create multi or omnichannel content.
Image: © Urbina Consulting
The LavaCon Conference on Content Strategy and Technical Communication Management took place last month (22-24 May), and brought together content strategists, user experience designers, documentation managers, and other content and UX specialists to Croke Park in Dublin, Ireland.
While CJ Walker, founder and director of Firehead, was helping to man the Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators (ISTC) booth, the expert talks, workshops and other sessions on content strategy and techcomm were coming thick and fast. The main content theme was Spanning Silos, Building Bridges, but there was plenty more on the digital communications agenda.
We’ve collected a selection of useful, interesting and statistical Tweets from the #Learnedatlavacon and #Lavacon stream. Visit our Storify here or scroll down to view the embed. You might also like to read more posts on techcomm or view our training options. Continue reading
The 2017 Professional Copywriters’ Network survey was published last month and it reveals pay rates, earnings and a shocking 29% gender pay gap in the profession.Leif Kendall, Director of the Professional Copywriters’ Network, said: “This, our second annual survey, is a snapshot of the copywriting industry in 2017. It attempts to capture the experience of being a copywriter in the UK, in terms of job satisfaction, income and prospects.”
More than 500 copywriters who serve the UK market answered the Professional Copywriters’ Network (PCN) questions on demographics, training, pay, how they charge and the nature of their work. Respondents ranged in age from 20 to 75, with 58% of respondents female and 67% working in a freelance capacity.
One of the PCN’s aims in creating the survey is to help advise its member on rates of pay. The chart below shows average day rates for freelancers, which averages out as £339 per day. Although this is slightly elevated as most respondents were from London and the South-east, the regional ratings will give a lot of UK-sector copywriters food for thought when they come to charge out their work. Continue reading