Is there a difference between a Content Strategist and a Technical Author?

What’s in a name – at this week’s Content Strategy Meetup, which unfortunately I missed due to illness, a number of the attendees and speakers came from the technical communications community. They were Technical Authors/Documentation Managers or had a background as a Technical Author.

So are Technical Authors and Content Strategists one and the same thing? Do they require the same skill set? Do they look at the same type of content? Is the only difference the salary levels?

What do you think?

2 Replies to “Is there a difference between a Content Strategist and a Technical Author?”

  1. I was at the meetup. It was interesting to see that of the 50 or so people roughly one third dealt with content. Not all of those were what you could traditionally call Technical Authors, but that is still quite a lot. The majority of the rest said they came from a user experience (UX) perspective.

    What came across loud and clear was that there was little difference between the skill set of those dealing with content from those dealing with UX. The fundamental difference was that most UX people and those that called themselves Content Strategists were contractors. One speaker said that over 90% of the positions they filled were contracts.

    There was some discussion on this. The perception was that most companies are unsure what content strategy is and therefore wants to dip its toe into the water to see what it offers. It was envisaged that this market will grow exponentially as this sector takes off. Maybe then, more salaried roles will be seen. I’d add a caveat to that though. There is a belief that if you become too close to the content, you can not see the wood for the trees.

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