Words Need to Stand on Their Own

Warning: Jeff has included no pictures in this post.

In the past five years anyone in communications could not escape the term “content marketing”. It made me smirk from first hearing. I mean, has there ever been, “non-content marketing”? The best, that is, the most engaging, relevant and entertaining marketing tells a story. People do not buy something unless they can insert and see themselves in the product or service’s narrative.

For a long, long time those stories have been influenced and marginalized at the earliest stages of development. Why? Because their authors begin thinking about the pretty creative pictures and different fonts that will accompany the text along with the myriad of communications channels where the story can appear.

Good copy must stand on it’s own. The reader should be blown away the words on stark, black type displayed on plain white paper. Recently, I spent thirty-five hours on planes in a hundred hour period. As a voracious reader, I took that time to chew through magazines, newspapers and everything else I could devour on my iPad.

One print publication was The Walrus. It is one of those magazines that you never want to see go digital. I find beauty in print and that may betray my age more than the lines in my face. The Walrus is a Canadian magazine focused on “provocative long-form journalism, innovative ideas, and continuing the Canadian conversation.” In short, it is a brainy piece that is approachable yet delightfully pompous. Read more