DMA Europa Group

1 Year as a Writer

Marketing Automotive Industry

I often get asked, what is it like to be a technical writer? My mind sifts back through all the interviews; the site visits; the hours staring at my screen hoping for a spark of inspiration; the brochures and support materials; the endless amount of sentences I’ve read back and thought, err no, let’s try again… It all adds up to a unique experience, and one that I have been lucky enough to enjoy at the DMA Europa Group for the past year.

I have never been able to stop writing. Whether that’s due to the fact I’m far too opinionated or I don’t get out enough, I’ll leave you to decide. However, after a number of years working in various marketing support roles, I’ve found myself with what I’d consider to be my dream job. I get up, write, eat crisps, write some more, eat more crisps, write and then leave the office with information bouncing around my head like a sugar rushed child in a play barn. If you have a brain that doesn’t shut up, writing for a living is the perfect antidote. Like classic Simpsons episodes, it just doesn’t get old.

Luckily, for you at least, I don’t come to work to write about myself. Our clients are always the primary focus. We exist purely to explore their expertise and boost their successes, pushing content that isn’t just relevant to the wider engineering sphere, but to the purchase decision makers who make the whole thing tick. As B2B marketing professionals, everything we produce must be seen through this lens. While technically, politically and creatively demanding – I’ve discovered that writing technical content is anything but dry.

Over the past 12 months, I’ve been lucky enough to write about our client’s involvement in some of the biggest landmark engineering projects and upheavals the sector has even seen. Land speed record cars; the rush to introduce electrification in the automotive industry; the pressures of implementing green thinking; huge tunnelling projects in the Middle East; the revival of one of Britain’s most unhinged sportscar brands; the latest construction equipment; roaring superbikes; road burning supercars and the construction of the UK’s landmark Premier League football stadiums. If you spent your childhood creating Lego monstrosities and crashing Hotwheels into each other, it’s spot on.

Talking with high profile members of these varied industries, the impression you are left with is the passion for innovation inherent in engineering. It may sound cliché, but whether I talk to a supplier of enclosures or an engineer developing a new racing engine, everyone is pushing to provide the very best. Engineers work extremely hard, so its heartening to see how willing these people are to talk openly about their subject. While I have to physically write the content in an engaging and relevant manner, its this inherent technological enthusiasm displayed by our clients that really shines through. To my mind, promoting innovation is marketing at its height of purity.

There is great personal satisfaction in delivering a good piece of writing – that’s universal regardless of the subject you are covering. However, seeing your articles and phrases being used as the cornerstone of our integrated marketing campaigns delivers something extra. Technical writing must be totally accurate, and being able to deliver something close to the mark first time around, that is recognised by highly proficient professionals, is a whole new buzz again. Sure, the nature of creativity means changes are incoming, but that’s because I’m not writing for myself. The only goal is to have text that truly represents a business’ expertise and future aspirations.

I used to write music reviews, and I still write my own personal blog posts and a bit of fiction when I have the time. However, writing 5 days a week really pushes writing style, and informs everything from conversation at the bar to how I word personal correspondence. Working with a creative technologically driven agency, I get to push this skill to its maximum.

Ultimately, good writing always involves the author displaying a piece of themselves. We cannot communicate effectively without taking some sort of creative risk, it’s the only way that we can build professional and personal relationships on an equal footing. In the same way, a technical writer must be prepared to fit into the container of the subject, to be fluid in understanding and expression to truly highlight what it entails and means to the wider world. Like Bruce Lee famously said: “be water my friend.”

 

Published January 11, 2018