Editor’s note: This post is adapted from a recent presentation given by Corinne Kanaly, Senior Manager, Technical Publications, at Qualcomm during Acrolinx’s 2014 Online Conference. You can access the full presentation on video.

When San Diego-based Qualcomm decided to transform its content to be more externally focused, members of its technical publications team knew that they had an opportunity to raise the quality of their content as well. As a global designer of wireless telecommunications products and services, Qualcomm had a sizeable technical publications team of more than 150 professionals spread across the United States, India, and China. Working across multiple offices, the team had developed numerous silos, each with its own standards for style and terminology. With the new mandate to transform their content, they saw an opportunity to change.

While finding the right tool to support the effort of improving and standardizing Qualcomm’s content proved easy enough — Acrolinx was a natural fit — getting all of the company’s writers on board with using it promised to be a much bigger challenge.

That’s because at Qualcomm, most of the executives don’t dictate which tools their departments use. Instead, when a new tool is purchased, it’s up to the people who advocated for its purchase to form a launch team and generate the interest and excitement necessary to ensure its adoption.

Knowing that the only way to truly improve their content across the business was if as many writers as possible started using Acrolinx, the launch team took a three-pronged approach to promoting the tool: 1) inspire their fellow writers; 2) ensure that Acrolinx was set up to meet the team’s requirements; and 3) celebrate the launch with all of the writers.

The team decided that the best way to get everyone on board with Acrolinx was by developing an internal marketing campaign to educate them about it and pique their interest. As part of that marketing effort the team:

  • Developed a SharePoint site with information about their goal to optimize technical documentation. The site also housed training materials such as a user’s guide, a quick reference card, FAQs, and other related information.
  • Created a variety of promotional materials, including posters to hang up around the offices, a video, a banner, and graphics for use in emails.
  • Made it easy for people to get in touch with the Acrolinx team to ask questions or report any issues that arose.

All of these activities culminated in a “demo day” in which the entire technical publications team was invited to come and get a demonstration of how Acrolinx works and how it could make their jobs easier. The event attracted 56 people and was so successful that 60 people started using Acrolinx the very next day. New users have been joining every week since and today there are approximately 100 writers within the team who are using Acrolinx.

To help socialize Acrolinx, keep it top of mind, and continue to build momentum and interest, the launch team has since held contests to recognize writers who are using the system. For example, they awarded the most improved score and the highest score. Doing so has helped to ensure that the platform gets adopted and used.

Today, Qualcomm has higher-quality, more consistent content and its technical publications team is better equipped to meet the changing demands of the business. By creating a successful campaign to get its writers involved and engaged, the launch team was able to ensure the widespread adoption of Acrolinx.

Do you have other ideas to improve technology adoption in general or the adoption of Acrolinx specifically? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.