Regis McKenna said that. He, handily enough, happens to be a pretty big-deal marketer himself; and while I have heard that basic idea over and over, it didn’t truly resonate with me until this summer.
I work part-time for Liberty University’s club sports department. Is it the most journalistic job? Probably not, but it involves sports, communication and a whole lot of people whose company I happen to enjoy (seriously, pretty sure our department is the equivalent of hitting the coworker jackpot); and when I found out I could just stick around good ol’ Lynchburg this summer and complete my required communications internship through them, I shut the search down and signed up.
What I didn’t completely know is that most of the communication I would be doing was marketing. I wrote for our website (as you can see from the clipbook) and edited some other web content here and there, but club sports is also partnered with Liberty University Varsity Club.
As the director was already familiar with my writing (see previous post) and I was familiar with his vision for the new organization, it made sense to put my writing skills to use in that area. By the end of the summer, I was managing marketing and media initiatives for LUVC.
I’ll be honest — as a writer, I’ve always been kind of a marketing snob. It’s not, you know, real real journalism, or real real stories. Marketing, in my opinion, was just using sweet words to sugarcoat a car sale. And while it’s still not my favorite type of writing (or communication in general), my attitude towards marketing has drastically changed.
Turns out, writing is writing. Even if there’s an end goal (“Sign up for our organization!”) in mind, anytime I force myself to sit down and hammer out words is valuable experience.
Turns out, social media writing is writing — and in fact, it’s kind of hard. I can convey a meaningful message in 140 sentences, easily. Condensing that same information into 140 characters? Ugh so #stressed.
Turns out, everything really is marketing. As unpleasant as the initial idea is, at least to me, the truth of the matter is that I am always marketing myself and my writing, no matter the content or platform. There are a lot of words swirling around out there in the mediaverse. My job is to convince people that mine are worth reading.
Of course, I have to make sure they are worth reading. And I do my best to produce the best, every time I release words into the world. So long as the stories are good, the information top-notch and the benefit to the reader true, marketing simply points to genuine quality.
So anyway, that’s how I cured my marketing snobbery and improved as a writer this summer, despite the lack of content on this lovely site. As school starts back up this week, I hope I’ll be back to more of the writing I love most — but until then, I will keep marketing away, and I’ve learned that’s not such a bad thing!