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Yonkers

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Fabulous critique of ghostwriting

CEOs shouldn't write. Not because they're useless at it, but because their time is better spent elsewhere. CEOs should be leading and doing, not researching and writing. But they should still (often) be the public face of the business; which is why ghostwriting has become commonplace. That's fine (writers have made a good living from ghosting for decades). But the vast throughput of content required for a well-rounded content marketing campaign means that ill-qualified writers are often being forced into creating second-rate content which neither serves the writer, the CEO or the brand. It's a big problem, it's one which only clarity and bespoke creation will solve, and it's one beautifully articulated in this piece from TechCrunch.  

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Is there room for comedy in B2B?

A cracking piece from VentureBeat entitled 'Is there room for comedy in B2B?' http://venturebeat.com/2014/10/05/is-there-room-for-comedy-in-b2b/ To which the answer is, of course, a resounding yes - but the author's point is that even in a B2B context, we speak to each other as people first and business owners/buyers second. The age of corporate posturing is long gone and most people - even at the top - primarily consider themselves to be a Department of One. We contribute individually to our businesses, and we want to be spoken to as individuals. Comedy is just one of the tools in the communicator's armoury - and marketers now need to be communicators first.

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Good enough v brilliant – the changing roles of content delivery

With bags of experience as a jobbing journalist, I have been through the fear factor of technological change before. When I was in my 20s, at the vanguard of online writing, I laughed in my youthful way at how people like me were supplanting much more experienced journalists. It's not really funny (people's livelihoods never are). The fundamental difference for my generation is not that I was a better writer. I was just a better all-rounder. In 1990, a good journalist could rely on an editor to polish up their text, research pictures, run a spellcheck and liaise with clients. By 2005, that was the preserve of a select few lucky dinosaurs. I was used to doing it all myself. And I wrote a mental note: don't get lazy. The tech trend is inexorable. Don't think writing is a given living.

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A living style guide for corporate writing – it’s about ‘feel’, not rules.

Corporate journalism style is a living and evolving beast. When I began writing, over twenty years ago (eek!), many businesses spent months putting together lengthy droning white papers; today, nobody has time to read them. Yet, before we dismiss them with a laugh, it's worth remembering that in those days there was a different subtext. These documents would stand in stone for a year as the foundation of a company's product positioning. They were rich in careful research and evidence. They weren't fundamentally useless, they just applied to a different sales and engagement process. Today, engagement has changed, and so has the writing. The style is conversational; and storytelling - painting pictures of human experience - carries more weight than a bunch of percentages. That co

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The death of long-form has been greatly exaggerated…

Lovely piece here from the gang at LikeMinds (interview with a VP at Ogilvy) on the value of long-form in advertising. The idea that we have the attention span of a goldfish is simply not true - and particularly in B2B, there is immense value in the consultative sell. Bespoking, relationship-building and value generation all take time, especially when the product or service is not a commodity. Twitter and Vine are certainly fine And quick hits are surely engaging But when you take time (as I have with this rhyme) You'll find that despite the lack of scansion and use of second rate poetic devices that the results for your brand of a richer and more explanatory process can be better buy-in, which is amazing. I thank you.

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Is Buzzfeed really that bad?!

Back in June, that doyen of business reporting, Robert Peston, gave the Charles Wheeler Memorial Lecture at the University of Westminster. He spent some of his time sticking a couple of well-manicured fingers up at Buzzfeed, the hugely successful content stream business which relies significantly on Listicles (lists of bitesize nuggets) and animated GIFs. He says, "In a commercial world where hits mean money, it is legitimate to fear that difficult journalism will increasingly be squeezed out by massively popular stories..." Peston may be right - but he's horribly wrong to have Buzzfeed in his sights. For starters Buzzfeed has published some exceptional, well-researched, in-depth longform journalism; most recently on the Palestine situation, for example. Second, unlike the many

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