Posted Under: marketing communications writer,rapport with writer
News item: “Apple finally adds the Beatles music to iTunes.” A post about fantastic content that “just happens” to your writer.
“This is fantastic,” you say.
Your writer doesn’t disagree. She also doesn’t tell you that it took almost no effort. After all, she can’t make it look too easy, or else you’ll think that anybody can do it.
A writer told me about being in this situation when she delivered one of these pieces last week. Mr. Casey had asked her to write up an interview with two teachers for the annual report that her son’s high school publishes. She and the teachers spoke for about a half-hour, then she went home with her notes and recording. A few days later, she put their exact words into print, edited them for brevity and readability, had another look at it the following day, and sent it off.
Mr. Casey loved it, saying that it fit well with the theme of the report and that he was extremely grateful for the talent she brought to it.
“I didn’t bother telling him that the article had written itself, by and large,” she admitted. “Good thing it was pro bono; I’d have had pangs of conscience billing him for it.”
“There was no real work.”
“Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite,” on Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, came about in similar fashion. The remarkably splashy, memorable tune nearly wrote itself, almost all of the lyrics coming from a 19th-century circus poster John Lennon found in an antique shop while filming a TV piece to go with “Strawberry Fields Forever.”
There was a break and I went into this shop and bought an old poster advertising a variety show which starred Mr Kite.
It said the Hendersons would also be there, late of Pablo Fanques Fair…The band would start at ten to six. All at Bishopsgate. I hardly made up a word, just connecting the lists together. Word for word, really.
I wasn’t very proud of that. There was no real work. I was just going through the motions because we needed a new song for Sgt. Pepper at that moment.
(from The Beatles Anthology)
Should it cost the same?
So, if you think the piece is brilliant, but the writer considers it a throwaway, should you pay less for it?
Of course not. Whether your writer sweated bullets or just peeled it off, it solved your business problem equally, and that’s what’s important.
If you don’t think so, then tell Apple that “Mr Kite” should cost $.69 in iTunes instead of $1.29 because John didn’t put much effort into it. And let me know how that works out for you.
John White of venTAJA Marketing is a marketing communications writer for technology companies. He posts about technology writing from the perspective of the marketing manager. It’s dirty work, but somebody has to do it. Download his eBook, “10 Questions to Ask When Hiring Your Marketing Communications Writer.”
photo credit: Wikimedia Commons