The Marketing Content End-Run

Marketing content end-run

Has anybody ever done an end-run on your marketing content?

It usually happens when you’re trying to keep all of your content marketing ducks in a row. You’re doing your best to put processes, workflow and editorial calendars in place. You’re even building a stable of marketing writers you can turn to for content.

But somewhere in the organization, someone is grumbling.

“This takes too long,” they’re saying.

Setting up your play

It’s not easy to make everybody happy. Especially not when you’re in Marketing or Public Relations.

Engineers, VPs, execs, and the firebrands in Tech Support all want to publish marketing content to make their lives easier. Some of them don’t really know what people in Marketing do, so when they’re facing deadlines or customer pressure, they get impatient. They pull an end-run and figure out their own way to get content written and maybe even get it published.

For example, Wilson, the project director inside a large government agency, has a remarkable story to tell, but he’s got only a few weeks to use his budget or lose it. Wilson pitches the story to Brown, the public relations manager. Brown tells him, “Yes, we can hire the ideal writer for your paper, a person who knows your specialty inside and out. We can also publish the paper for you.” Wilson goes away happy.

But then two weeks go by, and Wilson doesn’t hear from Brown. The clock is ticking, so Wilson spends some time on the search engines and article sites. He educates himself on marketing content in case he needs to start hiring writers.

Making the marketing content end-run

Another week goes by, and Brown calls to ask some “preliminary” questions about the project.

“Rats,” says Wilson, after hanging up. “The only way to get the paper done is to hire the writer myself.” He decides to put his own machinery in motion so he doesn’t lose the chance to get his story told.

Wilson makes phone calls and finds a fallback writer. The paper ends up a bit late and a bit over budget, but he has it in hand.

What do you do now?

Now, if you’re Wilson, how will you feel taking the finished paper to Brown and asking him to publish it?

If you’re Brown, will you accept the paper and make it part of your marketing content?

Or do you slow-walk it and teach Wilson a lesson not to try an end-run on Marketing?


Author: John White

John White of venTAJA Marketing is a content marketing writer for technology companies. He posts about technology writing from the perspective of the marketing manager. It’s a dirty job, but somebody has to do it. Download his eBook, “10 Questions to Ask When Hiring Your Content Marketing Writer.”