Although April Fool's Day was last week, its mischievous spirit is active year-round in technology marketing projects. And this mischief often reflects the proverbial Murphy's Law, that "whatever can go wrong, will."
So, with tongue firmly in cheek, here are my top 12 ways that Murphy's Law applies to technical copywriting projects.
- The product feature for which you have written the cleverest messages won't be ready when the product ships.
- If you come up with a new buzzword, readers will think it means the exact opposite of your definition.
- Spell-check will not point out a misspelled acronym, and this misspelling will have an embarrassing meaning or pronunciation.
- Your technical guru will reject as "too salesy" a headline that your marketing VP loves. Corollary: Your marketing people will automatically dismiss anything written by your engineers.
- Your company president will suddenly become an expert copywriter, but only when the brochure is already at the printer or posted on the website.
- A blogger will trip you up with questions about capabilities in a product that you never even knew existed.
- A document that you think will appeal only to a very limited audience will turn out to be the most requested material ever produced by your company.
- The subject matter expert who rejects a first draft secretly wants to write the document. Corollary: Anything written by this expert will be entirely incomprehensible to anyone else.
- Many of the keywords that a product manager insists must be used to describe a product will in fact turn out to be irrelevant for customer searches.
- Just as you're planning a new content campaign, you will see a competitor's microsite with the same concept.
- A customer will give you a great case study, but then never get back to you with approval to publish it. Corollary: The customer who eagerly wants to be in a case study has a boring story to tell.
- The product manager who wants an "objective" white paper will also want to see the most mentions possible of his or her product.
What are the Murphy's laws that you have encountered in your technical marketing projects?
Copyright(c) 2013, Janice King. Source: https://writinghightech.typepad.com/writespark/2013/02/murphys-laws-of-high-tech-copywriting.html