Even after you’ve hired the writer, writing projects don’t just happen. Somebody needs to act as project manager, and it’s usually your writer (if you’ve picked a good one).
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. Writers know that good content doesn’t emerge from their pen or keyboard because they want it to. They have to make it come out.
It applies on a larger scale, too. Few of the projects on your editorial calendar – white papers, web content, case studies, video, 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 and final versions need approving.
Who does most of this?
Would you believe your writer does?
The project manager you didn’t realize you hired
There’s a lot more project management to business writing than most people – including writers – realize. Even inside the organization, there are a lot of steps you take for granted on the path from idea to a deliverable. In a writing project, most of them end up in the writer’s remit. Otherwise, nobody handles them in a timely manner.
Consider the diplomacy that content marketing writers need to exercise when they get pulled into onsite client meetings. Think about the razor’s edge they tread. On one side is their understanding of what it takes to put persuasive, accurate content out into the world. On the other is their concern for the way things get accomplished in their clients’ companies and their desire not to look like a meddling outsider.
You probably value your writers for the “bricks” of good content. Remember to appreciate the “mortar” of their good project management skills as well.
To wrap up, here’s one more Edison quotation :
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. Sometimes it’s your writer (masquerading as a project manager) who contributes the extra work to make the content happen.
photo credit: wikimedia