Blog | Sep 16, 2011 | 2 Comments

[good writers ease the pain of marketing staff turnover]

Marketing, communications, and PR groups have always experienced a lot of turnover, both in the non-profit and for-profit worlds. When directors or managers step down and step out, good copywriters help ease the transition.

A nonprofit I work with has had the same marketing communications agency for at least eight years. This agency has served four communications directors whose personality and work styles are very different. (One of them was me. I hope I was their favorite.) During each regime change, the agency had to operate fairly independently while the organization was searching for someone to fill the position. Also, during the last decade, the nonprofit has doubled in size, reorganized, changed leadership, and changed many of its services.

Throughout it all, this small agency has continued to provide excellent service and on-target communications. The agency owners are very bright and caring individuals. They have many strong points but one of their critical advantages is their long-standing writing team, which now includes yours truly and another very talented writer.

I’m not blowing my own horn, just trying to make a point about how to conduct business. Frequent marcom staff turnover is a fact of life. But the messages still have to get out, and they must be strong and consistent. You should always have at least one excellent freelance writer who is intimately familiar with your positioning, your products and services, and your “voice.” Why?

Good writers will help you maintain relationships with your customers and communities no matter who is walking in or out the door of your organization.

Image credit: Marcin Wichary on flickr

Author: Claire Wagner

I'm a seasoned freelance writer/editor and an enthusiastic community manager. I'm passionate about developing and sharing good content.


Great points, Claire! That’s why I like developing long-term relationships with clients. The writer often provides the consistent voice, and can keep working with minimal direction during times of change. But while most of the time the writer smooths the transition, sometimes we’re the victim of the transition if the new marcom person decides they want to go with a different agency or bring the writing in-house. In one case a new VP of marketing said: “Our engineers are smart, they should be able to write these white papers, and I’ll save the company money!” If you make it look easy, sometimes they think it is easy. All part of the fun of working in high tech.


Claire Wagner Reply:

Yes, that is the flip side of regime change. I’m sure that VP lived to rue the day. Something similar happened to us years ago in a tech writing dept. at Intel. An engineering manager was aggravated at our turnaround and swore he could get his own staff to write a manual faster. He gave up a couple of weeks later!


Anne Janzer


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