100 Editorial Dumps Does Not A Killer Website Make

According to Brian Morrissey at Adweek, brands and their agencies can’t produce enough content for the voracious machine, a fact which is leading them to look outside themselves for answers.

AT&T turned to an outside firm called Associated Content — a startup with a network of 300,000 freelance content creators — to produce over 100 how-to articles. Topics range from setting up a wireless network and building a marketing strategy to writing a business plan. The material will appears on the AT&T Small Business InSite destination.

After looking at the quality of content available on Associated Content, I’m dumbfounded by AT&T’s decision to go this route. For instance, let’s examine–painful as it is–this Associated Content advice on becoming a copywriter.

When writing as an advertising copywriter, it is easy to focus on the facts about your product. You need to make sure that you are writing with a little flair. Also, features can be a vague concept for many readers. They don’t know how to translate that into what it means for them. If you are only writing features, then your readers are missing your point. And if you include some benefits with some features and fail to show how those features translate into benefits, your readers may also be confused.

This wonderful piece of copy comes from a PhD in Theology candidate at Bob Jones University, which is an interesting credential for a copy tutor.
AT&T and other brands may feel under-equipped to fill the content hole. I understand that. Which is why I, and others, keep saying brands are in the media business now.
It’s time to start acting like it. Acting like it means hiring real writers to craft sensible solutions.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.