Help! I need to write a witty article about marketing


Dear HTWB Agony Columns

I have been asked to write an article for the business pages of a local newspaper based in Oxford, England. Many people in the local business community still think that marketing is a press release and not much more.

My brief is to be witty, but I want to pack a punch and get marketing higher on the agenda of the leaders of the business community who read these pages. How can I approach this?

Jeremy from Oxford

Hi Jeremy

I’m glad your brief is “to be witty,” because that gives you the opportunity to use humor to strengthen your case!

You could almost do a “Diary of a Marketing Miser” – which could be extended into a series of articles if appropriate, but would work as a standalone piece too.

You would invent a fictitious business owner and chronicle his/her losses of sales and opportunities by not taking marketing seriously, and not investing in it.

The idea of the press release is a great starting point, because our character loves this notion of “getting free publicity.” You could really enjoy yourself here, even writing a paragraph or two of our MM’s release, glorifying him/herself and their products, then wondering why an editor says it’s not newsworthy.

The approach could also be used to take a similarly humorous (but informative) look at all other tools in the marketing mix. As Oxford has a high proportion of “professionals” you could work in the elements of how to humanize the output of law, accountancy and finance firms, too…

If you want a steer on the approach I’m suggesting, you should have a look at a wonderful book by a guy called Steve McDermott, called “How To Be A Complete And Utter Failure In Life, Work, and Everything.”*** It uses a similar angle of promoting the negative in order to highlight the positive. And it’s well worth reading in any case.

If you like this idea and want to explore it further just drop me a note via the contact form on the right >>> and I’ll help you develop it.

Good luck!

***That’s the Amazon UK link as Jeremy is in Oxford. To get the book in the USA click here. Other Amazons carry the book, too.

What does everyone else think? What advice would you have for Jeremy?

While you’re here, stop by my Bookshop…books and eBooks to help you write better – and to give to friends and family (don’t forget the Holiday Season is here)…