Technical Writing

Guides, Manuals and Reference Materials

Corporate communications isn't all glamor and glory. Frequently, when something (i.e., just about anything) important in an organization needs to be written, edited, formatted and/or distributed, it falls to the comms team to get it done.

In 2007, I received a baptism by fire in technical writing. Sure, I'd done a few small projects in this line before - work instructions, reports, style guides, proposals and the occasional case study - but nothing that required me to dive very deeply into unfamiliar waters.

Until, that is, I joined Capital One's HR Communications team and was tasked with producing:

  • A comprehensive 40-page guide for benefits open enrollment
  • Four location-specific supplement guides
  • A 30-page FAQ, glossary and package cover letter
  • The employee communications plan and related materials to roll out this new benefits plan

This was a monumental effort that included working with benefits providers, consultants and vendors for printing, kitting and mailing. Not to mention a lot of internal folks to get employees up to speed on a brand new program; address their questions, concerns and complaints; and push them relentlessly to enroll.

Policies, Processes and Procedures

No less challenging, in some respects, was my follow-up assignment at Capital One: To develop, all but from scratch, a 20-page employee Code of Conduct, including a cover letter from the Chairman and CEO. The project involved numerous high-level stakeholders across the business and support teams, including HR, Legal, Investor Relations and others.

This experience paid dividends when I was later tasked with editing and making consistent the full gamut of board-approved policies, processes and procedures (including forms) at UTi Worldwide, and developed a new set of those materials for employees regarding external/public communications and use of social media.

I worked closely with the UTi corporate governance and legal teams throughout my tenure with the company to ensure the integrity of these and other technical documents.