Writing Is Writing, Proper? Not If You Need To Hold Your Content material Creation Staff



“It’s time to make the donuts.”

This phrase from a 1981 Dunkin’ Donuts advert marketing campaign has turn into a part of our office tradition. Folks use it to speak about making ready to do one thing repetitive, grueling, or meaningless.

However that’s a misreading of the unique message.

The advert featured Fred the Baker, who awakened very early each morning, struggled away from bed, and repeated his mantra, “Time to make the donuts.” By the top of the adverts, Fred greeted his clients with a giant smile, happy with his work.

“It’s time to make the donuts” wasn’t a lament about doing the identical menial job day after day.

It conveyed Fred’s dedication to creating one thing big day after day.

The stress between creating content material that feels particular and setting up helpful (however menial) content material resonates with so many content material practitioners. With out an satisfactory steadiness between the 2, content material creators might lose curiosity of their roles.

Many #content material practitioners expertise the stress of eager to create one thing particular however needing to assemble menial content material, says @Robert_Rose through @CMIContent. Click on To Tweet

Writing is writing, isn’t it?

I talked with a unprecedented younger author at a B2B know-how firm the opposite day who advised me about her profession path. She’d landed a job at an company the place she wrote sensible articles and weblog posts for B2B purchasers. A few years later, she took a job in content material advertising at this massive tech firm.

Initially, she liked her function, which concerned writing short-form information articles in regards to the firm’s business developments. She acquired to dig into the business and the merchandise, interview folks, and go deep into the subject.

After a few reorganizations, although, she discovered herself serving as the web site editor. Her day by day job concerned enhancing – not creating – content material describing technical specs and product how-to assist.

Three months into her new function, she requested her supervisor about the potential for increasing her assignments for extra selection. The supervisor replied, “Writers are writers. And writing is writing.”

The primary assertion is true. The second just isn’t.

Some say writers are writers, and writing is #writing. The primary assertion is true. The second just isn’t, says @Robert_Rose through @CMIContent. Click on To Tweet

Heading down a incorrect path

I typically meet individuals who’ve discovered nice pleasure of their careers as content material practitioners. They be happy to create useful content material that delights and informs an viewers. They get pleasure from creating modern, enjoyable experiences that stretch imaginations.

That is the advertising job folks imply once they say, “Everyone has two jobs – theirs and advertising.” The flame of making cool, considerate content material burns so brightly it attracts everybody – from the entrance desk to the C-suite.

Alternatively, I additionally run into gifted content material creators – like my acquaintance on the tech firm – who spend their days setting up essentially the most mundane however needed content material for the enterprise.

These content material creators typically battle with the stress of setting up items that meet enterprise wants whereas nonetheless making an attempt for creativity. They typically really feel pissed off that their hoped-for artistic function turned out to be extra akin to laboring away in a content material manufacturing unit.

To be clear, the tech writer-turned-website editor acknowledged the significance of the technical documentation and the experience or talent wanted to remodel these items into participating supplies. She simply didn’t really feel she provided a lot worth in that function.

She didn’t really feel she might actually dig into the fabric as a result of she lacked technical experience. Her function was merely to make sure that the info and data had been properly constructed.

She just lately left the corporate. That’s an actual loss for the enterprise.

I labored with one other firm to advise on their plan for assembling new content material groups. The leaders appeared satisfied that every group – product, model, advertising, comms – ought to work solely on their content material. Product content material creators ought to concentrate on the elements, specs, and educational how-tos of utilizing the product. Model content material creators ought to work on taglines and thought management. Advertising and marketing content material creators would work on gross sales enablement supplies.

I disagreed and argued that product content material is also thought management. Model content material may be high-level guarantees and a easy checklist of elements. Advertising and marketing content material may be advert copy for search engines like google and the cool movies that make us all giggle.

The distinction is whether or not the content material is created or constructed.

Creating vs. setting up content material

Certainly one of my favourite quotes comes from G.Okay. Chesterton’s evaluation of The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens:

The entire distinction between building and creation is precisely this: {that a} factor constructed can solely be liked after it’s constructed; however a factor created is liked earlier than it exists.

Expertise acquisition and retention may be a content material marketer chief’s most crucial job immediately. And fostering and retaining content material expertise comes all the way down to balancing how a lot somebody constructs vs. how a lot they create.

It’s simple to imagine “constructed content material” is the boring stuff like navigation, tech-spec sheets, documentation, contracts, and compliance paperwork and that “created content material” is the enjoyable stuff like storytelling or viral movies.

That pondering isn’t right. Nearly something may be constructed content material, and nearly something may be created content material.

The distinction lies not within the factor created however within the why and the way it’s made, to echo Chesterton’s quote. As he stated, the essence of a bit “exists earlier than the ebook or earlier than even the main points or fundamental options of the ebook; the Robert Rose enjoys it and lives in it with a form of prophetic rapture.”

In fact, not all content material deserves or requires that degree of enthusiasm.

Constructed content material is necessary, however it’s often one thing that must be created as effectively as potential. Its worth solely exists after it’s accomplished.

Whereas some folks would possibly love creating the fiftieth Website positioning-focused article for a product or the tenth compliance doc for a service, the intrinsic worth of the creation course of can be fairly small. Only a few folks love the essence of that compliance article earlier than it’s constructed. That doc’s worth lies solely in its usefulness after it’s created.

Created content material provides the creator (and even these round them) pleasure earlier than it’s completed. It’s that vivid flame attracting folks from across the enterprise. It has intrinsic worth earlier than it even exists.

Creating #content material is the brilliant flame that pulls folks from across the enterprise to take part in its creation, says @Robert_Rose through @CMIContent. Click on To Tweet

My argument to the corporate planning to segregate their groups’ content material creation was that the strategy wouldn’t guarantee they attracted and fostered the perfect content material expertise. That requires making certain a steadiness between constructed content material vs. created content material.

All writers write. However not all writing is writing. I’ve by no means met any content material creator proud of setting up content material as their sole exercise.

Created content material drives most of us to get away from bed and make the donuts day after day. Perceive the distinction between creating and setting up. Then, steadiness these duties throughout the crew. That approach, each content material creator will get to get up feeling excited to maintain making the donuts.


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Cowl picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content material Advertising and marketing Institute



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