How to write ‘We signed someone (who doesn’t want to be named)’ articles - Showtime Digital

How to write ‘We signed someone (who doesn’t want to be named)’ articles

20 May 2019 Read 1024 times

Imagine you’re at a business function and you see a potential client everyone in your industry is currently chasing. Landing this client would propel you to the next stage in your business. You would be a major player in your industry and win business simply by association.

What you do next is critical. You know that now is the opportunity, so in your wisdom you call over your new recruit, a clerk in despatch, fresh out of school. You say to the clerk, ‘that’s the biggest client in the room and I want you to go over there and sell them on how awesome we are’.

The clerk looks very nervous, retorting, ‘but I just started on Tuesday’! ‘I don’t know anything about our company, and I know nothing about what this person needs from us’.

Your reply is, ‘that’s ok, just say the first thing that comes out of your mouth, now tuck your shirt in and off you go’.

For companies writing content, which is meant to impress their clients, this is exactly what’s happening.

This scenario used to the remit of the Managing Director or the Head of Sales. Today you’re entrusting your most critical engagement (their first interaction with you) to someone who has no understanding of you or your clients.

If you’re letting others represent your company, they must know two things. Your brand and your buyers.

The crux of the above issue comes back to the lack of focus on the brand. If you use this as your foundation you can then got to the next step and incorporate the needs of the client.

When discussing brand we’re specifically referring to -

  • Brand positioning – Why you are here?
  • Brand essence – What is it you want to be known for?
  • Brand identity – Who you are to the world?
  • Brand personality – How you will communicate to the world?

In a world of digital noise many companies feel pressured to produce content for the sake of gaining recognition, but without the foundation of the brand much of it has no real value.

What suffers is the reputation of the brand. If you can’t answer the above questions it may be better to say nothing at all.

Set a marketing standard

A business which understands their financials acutely will not compromise their position, similarly, having an acute awareness of who you or your clients are won’t let you step out of line with content which compromises your standards and the reputation you’re building with potential clients.

For marketing departments who lack the acute understanding of what their brand stands for they have little or no clarity on defined brand boundaries. This being the case content may be produced simply for content’s sake. This dilutes the voice of the brand.

In a world of marketing noise this is marketing suicide, and as you plummet the brand to its death no one will hear you above the marketing noise below.

A diluted brand is not a transparent one

Clearly defined brand parameters help everyone understand why you’re here, this is what you want to be known for and how you communicate this to your audience. Knowing this means you won’t do stupid stuff.

This pressure to create content means we herald stuff which is not newsworthy.

For example, cupcakes in the office is not newsworthy. It’s morning tea.

But if the idea of what we perceive as news is based on celebrity and reality TV, it’s no wonder we just blurt out the first thing which comes into our heads.

Is ‘We signed someone’ newsworthy?

If you sign a client and do a PR piece on simply signing the client that’s a bit of, so what, you’ve not done anything yet. Come back to us when you’ve accomplished something of note.

From a reader’s perspective it appears the article was created to satisfy the ego of the company who signed the deal rather than giving recognition to the client, or in fact any value to the viewer.

It’s even worse when the client’s name is not mentioned in the article. This tells the reader the client was ashamed of their need to engage us.

Sometimes it’s better to say nothing, and this is one such instance.

So, let’s address this specific article where you signed a company and they won’t let you use their name.

By saying ‘a company we signed…which we can’t disclose due to commercial agreements’, you’re openly embarrassing yourself. How it reads is, ‘our client is ashamed to have the need for our product/service’.

You’re effectively focusing the entire article on your inadequacies. You’ve compromised your brand and neglected the needs of the reader. If you’re recently signed client reads the article you’ve also lost credibility with them.

How to structure ‘We signed someone’ articles

If you’re dead set on making the signing of a client (who won’t be named) newsworthy there are other ways you can structure the article. There are many ways to do this but the following formats are the more well known.

  • Industry – Challenge - Recommendation
  • Industry – Recommendation – Generic outcomes
  • Challenge – Recommendation – Result
  • Industry – Trend - Recommendation

NOTE: Don't refer to a client (which doesn't want to be named), talk in general terms about the industry and the challenges they experience.

Before you write these articles, you need to know your brand in terms of why you’re here, what you want to be known for and by what standards you will communicate with your audience.

From the readers perspective you need to ask what the takeaway from this interaction will be and what challenges do they have which drives them to search for and read your article?

If you need clarity on defining your brand this branding eBook will help.

If you’re concern is understanding the needs of your clients download this eBook.

Steve Palmer

Steve Palmer is the Joint Founder and CEO of Showtime Digital. Steve has been in B2B sales since 1997 but influencing people and behavioural science has been a long-term passion.

The magic he brings to his clients is in knowing how to engage their audience. His goal is to help businesses understand the deeper reasons of why consumers convert online with them.