It is conference season, and I am the recipient of dozens of email pitches/day. People want me to notice their new HR products and services.
These pitches suck so hard.
My friend Steve Smith is an award-winning writer who leads The Starr Conspiracy’s content development, thought leadership and public relations teams.
He is great.
Steve once paid me a compliment as a writer. He told me that my first draft of ANYTHING is better than the average person’s final product.
That is the kind of compliment that goes to this writer’s lazy head. But I know that I could throw feces at a window and produce better content than most writers in our industry.
[Squat. Scoop. Throw. Splat. You owe me $10,000 payable upon receipt of the invoice.]
I love the compliment, but Steve also taught me that my first draft is not my final draft. Just because something is good doesn’t mean that it is good enough. My professional work will always benefit from time, distance, and the assistance of a good copy editor.
What Steve really taught me is the difference between shipping something and rushing something. It’s important to get ideas and products out to the marketplace; however, no one will die if you take two seconds to check your work.
The HR tech market is a booming industry. I am always asked to meet ridiculous deadlines, and I am always pressured to take crazy-boring subjects (like HR tech) and write compelling content. My whole life is a rush to publish my thoughts on the social web. If my first draft isn’t good enough for the market, you certainly shouldn’t be shipping anything — from a press release to a new product — until you are sure that what you are putting into the world meets minimum standards for clarity and quality.
Here’s my message for start-ups, PR firms and social media managers: go back and double-check your work before you send something to me.
Your rushed, shoddy content is killing me.