Re: using one's academic titles

Subject: Re: using one's academic titles
From: Rebecca Phillips <Rebecca -at- QRONUS -dot- CO -dot- IL>
Date: Sun, 29 Dec 1996 10:40:18 +0200

The question:
>>>SCENARIO: My partner and I both have Ph.D's and do freelance technical and
>>business writing. Our degrees are in biology, which may or may not relate
>>to the content/topic of the jobs we take. How often should we "flash"
>>our titles??

I agree that it depends on your audience. I know of one technical
writing manager who believes that PhDs have a leg up on other technical
writers because of their analytical skills and ability to pay attention
to details. This certainly impresses many customers, and it is
completely legitimate in advertising yourself as a technical writer. I
don't think it is a question of "flashing credentials". Some women don't
want to intimidate men by flashing credentials. I know of one female
company president who had two business cards. One said "Creative
Director" so as not to intimidate particular types of male clients. Both
cards did say PhD.

On the other hand, I understand your hesitation on putting the title PhD
on top of an article in economics or electrical engineering when in fact
your PhD is in biology. In some way, this is misrepresenting your
authority, and could be considered unethical. But it is also standard
practice, particularly in advertising. I mean, what does a sports star
really know about toothpaste? It works, so advertisers use it. You have
to ask yourself how you feel about each particular case. Making the
customers happy is important. If you are just being modest, forget
modesty and market yourself. You earned those credentials. Go ahead and


Rebecca M. Phillips
Documentation Manager
Qronus Interactive Ltd.
Automated System Testing
rebecca -at- qronus -dot- co -dot- il

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