Today, I read Seth Godin’s post entitled “But You’re Not Saying Anything” and in it he lashes out at boilerplate text and speech.
Yes Seth, as a writer I understand your frustration. I’m in total agreement that there is way, way too much unremarkable drivel out there on websites, brochures, white papers, ads, blogs, press releases, and even coming out of executives’ mouths. I hope your post gets a few thinking about this.
That being said, I’m the gal who is often writing it – not because I can’t write something more witty, inspired, and memorable. It’s usually because I’ve started out writing something short and to the point for a client. And, then they feel uncomfortable with the lack of B.S. in the text and want me to doctor it up with “lame speech”. Yep, it happens quite often.
Sure, I do my best to contribute my opinions, but, at the end of the day, the client is always right. Then, once the watered down writing doesn’t appear to be effective, they return to me for a new approach. It’s often a process to persuade clients to be more streamlined and clear in their communications.
Perhaps, some writers would stand their ground and consider it an insult if a client aggressively edited, changed the tone, and threw a bunch of crap into their text. These writers would probably make great temperamental novelists, but they don’t understand the give and take of writing marketing and PR material. It’s driven by the client and not the writer. We’re there to communicate the message, but not to shove our message down others’ throats. Of course, if the client wants to shove their message down their customers’ throats, it’s our job to communicate that, too!
Anyway, I started this blog to have an outlet where I can write what I want and when I want. No one is editing it, and maybe Seth Godin would think this was lame text, too. Yet, this is my place for my writing.
My writing is also on countless websites and marketing pieces, and some of it is quite wordy and perhaps, even pointless at times because that’s what the client wanted. No, it’s not the direction I would have taken with it, but, at the end of the day, I’m hired to write their messages not mine.