There's a new article at Cooper.com that touches on personas and how they can be used to aid the development of product documentation as well as product definition and design. Assuming that you already have personas available, if your technical writers aren't already taking advantage of them this article makes a compelling case for leveraging personas in their efforts.
<quote who="Steve Calde" where="Using_personas_to_create_user_docs.asp">
Personas and other user-modeling techniques are often solely discussed as tools for product definition and design, but they are useful tools in other arenas, as well. Technical writers responsible for creating user documentation can benefit greatly from a well-defined persona set, too.
Using personas to guide your user-documentation creation-process helps you:
· Determine the primary and secondary audiences for your documents
· Prioritize technical writing tasks by giving you a tool for identifying which aspects of the product are most important to your readers
· Write documentation in a way that helps your users achieve their goals, instead of simply cataloguing all of the product's features.
Edit: Shortened "where" link text b/c it was too wide for the page