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Is Precision Content a tool?

toolbox+logoBy Jacquie Samuels, Sr. Content Specialist at Precision Content

We’re getting ready to attend STC Rochester Spectrum 2019, the best little conference ever, and it got me thinking about last year’s conference and the types of conversations I’d had with folks.

STC Rochester Spectrum 2018 was full of great speakers and even greater guests. Precision Content was set up as a vendor, so people could visit our booth, chat us up, and leave with some swag. We were nestled among some other tool vendors, so it was no surprise that everyone’s first question was “Is Precision Content a Tool?”

It occurred to me, though, that because we are relatively new in the field and because vendors usually fit firmly into either a Tools or Services category, that everyone might be a little confused as to what, exactly, Precision Content offers to its customers. And yes, I do imagine that the whole world is interested.

The Short Answer

The answer is no, Precision Content is not a tool. A more complete answer is no, Precision Content is never just a tool but may sometimes involve one or more tools.

The Long Answer

In its smallest implementation, Precision Content is an authoring model. It guides writers, or anyone who regularly creates content meant to be read by someone else, on how to write not just better content but the best content you possibly can. If you need to write clear, concise, and useful information for your company, we have a precise and proven method for doing so. The authoring model can apply to any kind of content, from policies and procedures to technical communication to your emails. Applying Precision Content to your writing (without any tools other than what you’re already using) can have a huge, positive impact on the quality of your content and the ease with which your readers can consume it. You can have basic Precision Content training and get your authors up to speed in no time. And that could be exactly what you need and nothing more.

In its largest implementation, Precision Content is an authoring model at its core and then also everything you need to implement a scalable, intelligent content project, including tools, processes, change management, project management, training, author support, publishing, and content strategy. We’ll work with you to determine all your requirements and roll out the entire solution, piece by piece, giving your authors everything they need to take your content to the next, awesome level. Instead of juggling tool vendors, consultants, and more tools vendors, we’re a one-stop shop. We have the Precision Content authoring model implemented inside the best tools in the business, all connected to give you the complete end-to-end solution you need.

If I have to distill that down to one sentence, I would say: We are both a tool vendor and a service vendor, all wrapped up into one.

Is Precision Content XML or Not?

The next question was invariably: Is Precision Content authoring an XML solution?

These days, most technical communications departments are firmly in either the “XML is completely unnecessary and ridiculously expensive” or the “XML is essential to all that tech comm can become” camp, and few are left waffling in between. So, we understand this question, we really do because it either means you’re interested in chatting with us or not.

But we get it, XML is not the answer for everybody and definitely is not the answer for everybody right now.

So, and I’m telling you this honestly even as a die-hard XML fan: it depends on you and your requirements.

Precision Content can be implemented with nothing but Notepad and some careful planning. I can write an email using the Precision Content authoring model. It can certainly be implemented in Word or FrameMaker, or whatever your preferred authoring tool happens to be. And maybe that’s exactly what you need: better authoring guidelines so you can have better content, end of story.

Other customers need a more robust solution and let’s face it, XML opens the door to the fun stuff, like reuse, implementing a chatbot, or total world domination. XML is not an essential component to Precision Content but Precision Content is definitely available as an XML solution.

See you at the next conference! Come talk to us about world domination. Or just your content.


About the author

Jacquie-189x189Jacquie loves playing with and talking about CCMS systems! Although she’s often called on to transform large, unruly, complicated content-sets as a technical writer, her real passion lies in helping companies successfully implement content systems and processes to make their content awesome! If you have questions about content management get in touch with jacquie@precisioncontent.com.

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