Tips for working with the non-techy

This newsroom curmudgeon does not care for your overly complex RSS feed explanation. Just give him the nut graf. [Photo by broughtbooks]

Web Worker Daily posted a phenomenal list of tips for working with people who don’t have much of a technical background. If you work in the online side of a newsroom, this list pertains to you — especially when dealing with newsroom curmudgeons, salespeople and management.

The list (see Web Worker Daily for detailed explanations):
1. Avoid jargon.
2. Use analogies.
3. Talk results, not process.
4. Link to additional resources.
5. For proposals and reports, use visuals.
6. Have ready access to case studies.
7. Refer to related events or issues that have been brought up by mainstream media.
8. Illustrate what that idea/app/process has to do with their jobs or sales.
9. Introduce new technologies gradually.
10. Be patient, or at least look like it.

I imagine many of you are curious about how the multi-dimensional database behind Widget X works or how the web scrape circumvents the authentication mechanism, but explaining the process behind that to some folks will turn them into rabid, drooling zombies.

Just stick to the tips on the list. This one is a keeper.

[Web Worker Daily: 10 Tips for Working with the Not-So-Tech-Savvy]

Author: Danny Sanchez

Danny Sanchez is the Audience Development Manager at Tribune's and Danny has been with Tribune since 2005 in a variety of editorial, digital and product development roles in Hartford, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale. He has also previously worked in the newsrooms of the Tampa Bay Times and The Miami Herald.

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