Journalism, Business Publishing,
By Antonio Coleman
As an Assistant Operations Manager of various radio stations, Zack East knows how to multi-task.
“A lot of radio is about one person doing multiple important positions. Getting the actual in-field experience of making websites and doing radio together was the best experience I could ask for,” states Zack.
As part of his responsibilities as an operations manager, Zack must write technical information into manuals for an interactive division of his company. This includes handling websites, text messaging, email blasts, streaming audio, and more.
He must also effectively communicate and outline product manuals for sales associates. His analysis and explanation of these products allow sales associates to become aware of which components of a particular item can be sold.
Still, these are only a few of his responsibilities as a technical communicator in the radio broadcasting profession.
“I also have to dispel myths and communicate well enough to make sure people are confident in what they’re selling or buying from us. Most of the technical writing I do is a starting point to allow people to open dialog with me. Then we create additional custom presentations to make an impact and better everyone’s understanding,” states Zack.
A Ferris State University Alum, Zack considers radio to be his first calling. While at Ferris, Zack spent a lot of his time creating websites and working with both his local station and Bulldog Radio.
It was this in-field experience which he feels was his best career preparation. It would also lead to the career decision that would be the cornerstone of his future successes.
“I knew that if I didn’t get something done and do it right, it wouldn’t be a classroom grade being affected; it would be instead the image of our station being affected,” he said.
While carrying many tasks and responsibilities for his company, Zack considers one of his greatest accomplishments to be creating the interactive division of his radio station. It was during this work that Zack’s technical writing skills were most essential.
“At the beginning, I figured the job would be simpler than I made it out to be, but I realized that if I wanted it to have growth, proper structure, and stature, that I needed to do it right,” states Zack.
Since graduating from college, Zack has seen many changes which have affected his profession. He mentions that for many technical writers, technological advancements have been the biggest change in the profession.
Social and technological changes, such as the popularity of computers, now allow writers to archive their work. This has greatly improved writers’ abilities to both edit and create multiple revisions of a document.
Also, the Internet continues to create new opportunities for technical writers. “The internet will continue to change the profession and how we put materials together, such as training systems or educational materials. I think we’ll see an increased Internet and computer role in how our technical writing products get used, which also means that the demand will likely be higher. That, of course, hopefully means the addition and importance of tech writing jobs,” Zack states.
Zack credits much of his success to being as confident in his products and services as possible. He reinforces the need to compile research and experience the products first-hand.
Lastly, he would advise aspiring technical writers to feel good about what they choose to pursue in life. It’s this advice Zack carries with him every day in order to be both an effective manager and efficient technical communicator.