Question for tech writers and those who work with them.

What’s the name of the division that houses your company’s technical writers? And/or, what do you think would be a good name for a writing division?

Here’s why I’m asking: I’m a tech writer at a software company, and currently my division includes our graphic artists and is called Technical Communications. However, soon we will be reorganizing, and the artists and writers will belong to separate groups. The artists’ group will be Graphic Arts, and right now they’re calling the writers’ group Publications (Pubs, for short). We can suggest a different name if we prefer, so the other writer and I decided to do some research and find out what other companies call their writers (you know what I mean! ;)).

Neither of us has a very strong objection to Pubs, but I’m trying to think of something more encompassing – maybe along the lines of Writing Services. But that sounds kind of “meh” to me, too. So I turn to the Dope for suggestions. :slight_smile:

At my software company, we call ourselves “User Education”. Strikes me as friendly, that.

Ours is called “Information Development.” A little pretentious, maybe, but I’ve heard worse. Individually, we’re “information developers.”

The company at which I recently applied for a tech writing job calls theirs Documentation Development.

In my years as a technical writer, I’ve been called the following:

– technical writer
– documentation developer
– information developer
– technical communicator

My job was a part of the following groups or departments:

– technical communications
– technical publications (or just “publications”)
– information development
– documentation
– technical education (we were grouped with the trainers on this job)

Given my druthers, I’d be a technical communicator working in the publications department. That describes it pretty well, I think.

Remember that part of the problem tech writers face–even today, with as much technology as is out there–is that some people have a hard enough time grasping just what a technical writer does. With titles like “information developer,” I’ve had many people assume that I’m the one writing the program, not the instructions. And “documentation developer” has made some people think I’m in records management. I’d suggest a clear and descriptive name for your group; one that is simple and brief, and difficult to misunderstand.

Sorry for taking so long to get back to this thread!

Thanks, everyone, for the suggestions – and Spoons, I completely agree that the challenge is coming up with something that is clear and meaningful.

Unfortunately, “simple and brief” escaped us: we’ve decided to ask to be called “Professional Writing & Editing” (which comes from the name of the master’s degree program that I’m in). It’s a little “meh,” as were all of the options, but it seems to be the best name right now. And of course we can/will abbreviate to PWE, as does my program.

When I sent the e-mail to our boss’s boss asking for the change, I wrote:

So if our request is approved we’ll be “Professional Writing & Editing,” and if not we’ll be “Publications.” Meh. :slight_smile:

Actually, I think that’s a pretty good name for your division. Certainly, nobody will mistake your function for a software developer or records manager. Maybe it’s not so “simple and brief,” but it won’t be misunderstood. Good choice!

Thanks! :slight_smile: