“It’s a Good Outline, But I Hate It.” – Making Outlines Work

You and your marketing communications writer should agree on an outline for larger projects. It’s helpful for business purposes, but sometimes it’s a creative pothole. Have you ever watched somebody hang a picture or organize a workbench in a way that worked, but was alien to you? “It would never have occurred to me to […]

5 Steps Your Marketing Writer Should Follow

When you hire a marketing communications writer, you should expect a description of her method. Ask for it, and be sure it makes  sense to you. You’re evaluating a marketing communications writer to do a white paper or a case study for you. “So, how do you do this?” you ask her. “What’s your writing […]

5 Business Instruments Your Marketing Writer Should Have

When you hire a marketing communications writer, you’ll need to put some paperwork in place. Professional writers have these items ready and are prepared to send them promptly. “Send me a contract,” you tell the marketing communications writer, once you’ve decided you like the cut of his jib. It should be a bit more granular […]

Your Marketing Writer Takes One Final Look

When you hire a marketing communications writer, her responsibilities should include a final, pre-publication look at the piece, just before the train leaves the station. Your responsibilities should should include giving her that opportunity. Marketing writers don’t write; they suggest. You don’t need to apologize for changes you make to drafts, but you owe it […]

Thought Leadership, and Other Outdated Concepts

“We want to position ourselves as a thought leader,” your boss decides. “We need a white paper that will help set us apart from our competitors so that prospects and existing customers will really want to work with us.” It starts with The Event. Maybe you’ve undergone an internal transformation, and you now have a […]

Dear Editor/Writer: The Beginning is Awful, and the Rest is Even Worse

What kind of criticism do you give your editor-writer? What does he do with it? This paper starts out awful and goes downhill from there. I’ve never said that to a marketing writer, but it has a funny, ironical ring to it. I would chuckle as I clicked on “Send” to deliver news like that, […]

“It’s Time to Feed the Blog Again”

It’s not easy to keep your content machine fed, is it? You’re finding out that providing valuable content to your readers really does take some work, doesn’t it? When you were a kid, responsible for the family dog, your mom would holler up the staircase, “Timmy! It’s time to feed the dog again!” You remember […]

The Content Buffet

Have you ever had too much content? It’s a good problem, isn’t it? Like having too much champagne in the wine cellar, or an infinitely empty stomach at an all-you-can-eat buffet. What does a Content Buffet look like? Let’s say you have a recent, huge win: a landmark new customer a long-held strategic goal reached […]

“I Asked You For a Chainsaw. You Gave Me a Cuisinart.”

A marketing manager told me about a white paper gone awry. How many errors do you see in this chain of events? The VP of Marketing wanted a white paper and told the marketing manager what he wanted the title to be. The marketing manager called his regular copywriter and told him about the project. […]

White Paper Projects That Don’t Go Well – Part II

Continuing on the topic of white paper projects that didn’t go well, today I describe the second of two categories. Didn’t Go Well and Resulted in a Bad White Paper (or None at All) These situations are frustrating for everybody, and it’s hard to control the resulting damage. Warning signs: Wrong writer – Sometimes it’s […]