Posted Under: managing writing project,rapport with writer
Nothing works because you want it to. You have to make the damned thing work.
-Thomas Edison (I think)
I saw that several years ago in a quotation-of-the-day calendar, and it has always stuck with me.
It applies to writing, doesn’t it? Writers realize that good content doesn’t emerge from their pen or keyboard because they want it to; they have to make it come out.
On a larger scale, as a marketing manager you should know that few of the projects you commission – white papers, Web content, case studies, technical articles – happen because you want them to; you (or somebody) has to make them happen. Facts need checking, reviewers need reminding, editors need prodding, interviewees need birddogging, text needs proofreading, final versions need approving…
Who does most of this?
Would you believe your writer does?
There’s a lot more project management to business writing than most people – including writers – realize. There are also a lot of steps you take for granted inside the organization on the path from idea to a deliverable, and in a writing project, most of them end up in the writer’s purview because nobody else handles them in a timely manner otherwise.
Paul Lagasse posted recently on the diplomacy that freelance writers need to exercise when their management of a project pulls them into onsite client meetings. Most marketing managers value writers for the “bricks” of good content, while overlooking the “mortar” of good project management.
One more Edison quotation to wrap up:
I never did anything by accident, nor did any of my inventions come by accident; they came by work.
Your organization’s content is no accident either, and sometimes it’s your writer who contributes the extra work to make the content happen.
John White of venTAJA Marketing posts about technology writing from the perspective of the marketing manager. It’s dirty work, but somebody has to do it.
photo credit: wikimedia