Archive for January 8th, 2009

pressTo recap: As I have mentioned once or 16 times, I edit a weekly corporate online newsletter.  The gig began about 18 months ago. It has its light periods and its heavy periods (I lose a lot of iron but, fortunately, I take One-a-Day.) In general, it is a relatively steady, and greatly appreciated average 10 to 12 hours a month.  Of course, I wouldn’t mind it being more.

So the email from my contact at the corporate newsletter definitely caught my eye. It started out most promisingly:

“Starting next week two other business units will be contributing to our newsletter…”

I started doing English-major math: one…plus two…is, um, three!

She continued, “I told them all about you, how you punch it up and make it all sound like one person wrote it…”

Yes, concise, entertaining, singular voice. Go on…

“…but they said they have no money.” (Cue sound of sad trombone.)

Sigh. When I originally sat down with the marketing director those many months ago, this was the hope. That our little exercise in value-added awesomeness would inspire other business units in this big multinational to start up their own newsletters, hopefully with me on board.

Hey, half a loaf, right? More like none of the loaf because they aren’t asking me to do anything.  My contact is going to add my stuff with the other people’s stuff. So, while this doesn’t hurt me financially, I am dead certain it is going to hurt the product. We are right back where we started…the classic corporate newsletter that is written by six different people of varying writing ability. The singular voice is no more.

What do you do in a situation like this? Well, here’s what I did: the mature, business-y thing.  I told my contact, “if these folks need any help getting started, any tips on style, send them to me…no charge.”

I figure, build some good will. Help them get off on the good foot. Take some pressure off of my contact. And, who knows? The purse strings may loosen eventually. In the meantime, I can only hope that my contact will tell her boss about my courageous, selfless act of value-addedness.

Hope, hell…I’m going to request it!

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