What is technical communication and why is it so important in a public relations field?


Before going into my tech. comm. class I really didn’t give much thought into what technical communications was. I thought it was going to be a class about effective communication strategies using technology — I mean this makes sense right? I quickly learned technical communication is much more than that. As a communications major with a concentration in public relations, I will be engaging in technical writing which is a really important skill to have. If you are a COM major or looking to be a PR practitioner, here are three things that I learned about technical communication that are sure to help you:

  1. Definition of technical communication

From my class readings I understood technical writing to be a field where complex information is simplified and broken down into something that is easily understandable for any audience to read. According to prismnet.com, technical writing can be about any technical topic in any field. For example, a person majoring in biology is gaining knowledge and expertise in the field of biology, so they are therefore engaging in technical communication. A technical communicator is involved in creating special informational tools that are designed to instruct people on a specific technical area.

  1. Technical communication in my field

I am majoring in communication with a concentration in public relations. In my field technical writing and both public relations overlap. A public relations practitioner is responsible for creating messages that are being disseminated to the public that in the end hope to influence the public’s behavior on behalf of the client the PR practitioner is working for. As a technical writer in PR, my job would be to provide clear and easy answers to a problem that a particular audience is facing. I would also be trying to persuade people to buy a product or shape their perception about a particular product, brand, person, etc.

  1. Ethical considerations of technical communication

We need to follow ethical guidelines in technical communication. According to Lumen Learning, technical writers have a responsibility to their audience to report information that is accurate and avoid using any language that “appeals to basic emotion instead of justifiable reasoning”. The two guidelines that I feel are most relevant to my field of public relations is telling the truth as convincingly as possible and doing what is right regardless of possible outcomes. This is because the role of a PR practitioner is to disseminate truthful information to the public and follow ethical guidelines on behalf of both the client that they are serving and the public. According to the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), PR professionals must align with the ethical values that should be set as the foundation in the profession.


Check out this PR Blog!

I found an interesting blog titled “PR In Your Pajamas” which is a blog that was created by Elena Verlee. She owns her own PR agency and provides PR and content marketing for technology companies and venture capital groups. Her blog focuses on educating other PR and marketing professionals, entrepreneurs, non-profits and small businesses on how to gain exposure so that they can meet their goals. Elena is credible as she was named twice on the Forbes list as one of “20 Women for Entrepreneurs to Follow on Twitter” and “25 Most Influential Women Tweeting About Entrepreneurship”. She also has 20 years of brand building experience. Her blogs are pretty informative and include infographics and statistics on the topics she writes about. If you’re looking for some tips and tricks as a young PR professional, this would be a great blog to follow.

So, did you learn something new today?

I hope you found these insights into what technical communication is helpful. When you break it down it isn’t all that bad. If you have any experience with tech. comm. or have taken a tech. comm. course, comment below and share your thoughts! If you enjoyed this blog post, subscribe and I’ll send you a message whenever I write something new, which is usually every week!

Talk to you soon!


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