Article first published at GameChangers Magazine
At Contentworks Agency we know that a good writer is a precious commodity to any business.In fact, 78% of CMOs see content as the future of marketing.Creating awesome content for emails, company news, social media marketing, press releases and events is a hugely important and often undervalued skill.As a CMO your job is to guide the marketing department, direct campaigns and ensure your team hits its objectives. So, what’s the problem?
Editing An Article After It’s Gone Live
So, your writer has slaved away on a well-researched article, a meticulously sourced statistics, double-checked the grammar, structure and styled the piece to match your brand. As a CMO, you glanced at the piece and approved it so your writer put the piece live. All good, right? Nope. Because you didn’t read it properly the first time and now it’s live you have decided to inspect it thoroughly and make changes. If the piece is for PR or third party then your content manager will have done a lot of work to get it out there. Plus, it’s not published on your platform so any edits need to be performed by someone else. Going back to a publication to request superficial edits can make your organisation look uncoordinated, unprofessional and misaligned. It can irritate publishers and journalists, making them less inclined to work with you in the future. Don’t forget that once an article is shared on social media it can’t be changed and deleting it will mean you lose any traction you achieved. CMOs who do this drive their writers crazy!
CMO Takeaway: Make a decision. Either trust your writer to publish the piece without you and accept their judgement on style and content or check it properly in the first place. If you don’t have time to check it then be sure to tell your writer and make time as soon as you can. If the style doesn’t reflect the message you want to convey then you need to have a bigger conversation about it.
Charlotte is a British writer and content marketing thought leader specialising in dynamic branding, social media marketing and content engagement.
Responsible for a number of high profile brands and with 500+ articles published, her success lies within her originality, humour and hands on experience of the digital marketing world.
Charli lives by the Mediterranean and loves Starbucks, popcorn flavoured jellybeans and writing poetry.
Requesting An Assignment Immediately And Then Sitting On It For Months
There’s a special place in hell for CMOs who do this to their writers. Believe me, I’ve seen it happen and it’s incredibly annoying. Content writers know that there will be times when they need to drop everything to work on an assignment. It’s part of the territory. That said, writers are usually juggling a large volume of work, much of which is deemed to be “urgent’. A particular case that I witnessed was a CMO who demanded a training manual to assist the sales team. The manual was 50 pages long and required “yesterday”. Another unhelpful directive. The content manager dropped everything to get it done. She abandoned the pending company news articles, the legal terms she was proofing, the upcoming eBook and the numerous landing page campaigns to get it done. When the manual was delivered, the CMO thanked her and then sat on it for two months. After that point, he announced that the plans had changed and it wasn’t needed anymore. This situation often arises when a CMO doesn’t understand the role or workload of their writers. Almost everyone within the organisation depends on the writer so they can function in their own role. Also, a number of business objectives rely on the streamlined functionality of the content marketing division. So, if you have one writer, they can only work on one task at a time and will require clear priorities and good communication in order to keep everything running smoothly. Constant shifts in priorities and unused work is really demotivating for a creative writer.
CMO Takeaway: Always consider the bigger picture and think carefully before instructing your content team. Give clear deadlines and keep your writers updated on any changes. Oh, and never use the phrase “I need it yesterday”. Ever.
Expecting 9-5 Super Creativity
We all work set hours like 9 am-5 pm. We accept that. However, writers, artists, designers and creative people will not be super creative at every minute of the day. If, like me, you are a morning person, you will have a buzz of super creativity between 6-12 am which might then tail off a bit after lunch (especially if it’s after a large brie and avocado baguette) and then die completely towards 5pm. CMOs are often not creatively minded which is completely fine. They don’t have to be. However, know that great content writers will structure their day according to their creative input. For example, peak creative hours may include writing video scripts, brainstorming campaigns and planning social media updates. Less creative hours may feature accounting, reporting and administrative tasks.
CMO Takeaway: CMOs, if you know that your writers are super creative in the mornings, be sure to utilise it. Schedule your brainstorming meetings for 9 am, ask for feedback at 10 am, get curious about their latest press releases at 11 am. Don’t schedule a creative brainstorming meeting for 5pm. Especially don’t do that if your marketing team finishes at 5pm. As a CMO it’s your duty to motivate or… gasp … even inspire your team and get to know their strengths and weaknesses. If you want to get the best from your writers then work with them on this one.
Hey CMOs we understand. Managing a busy marketing department is a tough and highly pressured job and the chances are you didn’t mean to drive your writers crazy! If you see content marketing playing a role in your future success, talk to www.contentworks.agency for outsourced content marketing solutions that reduce stress and improves productivity.