Writing is part of everything we do here at Matter. Pitches, briefing notes, bylined articles, notes from a client call or interview – it all requires us to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboards) to get our thoughts out before they flutter away.
The topic of “writing” in general has been on my mind lately (I know, very deep), as one of my teams perseveres on a pretty extensive writing project. We’re creating content for a magazine published by a client for its extensive customer base. My colleagues and I are doing all the things a reporter would be doing: interviewing sources (in this case end-users); bouncing ideas off each other; writing, editing, scrapping drafts and starting over again; submitting finished pieces to the editor (our client contact); and sometimes watching 1,200-word articles that went through multiple drafts get cut for space. It’s exhausting, but it’s giving me and my team an interesting insight into the process reporters and editors go through every single day. Performing both our PR duties and editorial duties has personnally given me a new appreciation for the work our media targets do every day.
While we’re all respectful of our media contacts’ time and bandwidth, I suppose that I’m guilty of taking for granted what they actually do, day in and day out. When setting up a briefing for a client or sending background materials, I only see that small sliver of work that goes into the completed article. I don’t see all the late nights hunched over the keyboard, cigarette smoke choking the air, a reporter complaining that the editor just won’t get off his back and then yelling “copy!” the moment he rips the paper from the typewriter (every newsroom out there is just like the one in the Superman movie, right?).
Kidding aside, there’s a ton of work that goes into writing and publishing a magazine, and as a PR person that’s never worked in a newsroom, I have a new appreciation for the effort that goes into pushing an undertaking like this across the finish line.