Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Q: When is a blockbuster not a blockbuster?
A: When you can't tell anyone about it.

I walked into a meeting recently and the client greeted me with, "We've just been singing your praises!" (Well, don't stop on my account.)  It seems a series of profiles I'd written was generating spectacular page-views on their intranet.  One in particular had done "blockbuster" numbers - 12 times their average readership.

It's the kind of result you want to stand on the rooftops and crow about - or at least put in a marketing email to current and prospective clients. Writing that gets results is rare.  Not to mention valuable.

But I can't.  Sensitive subject, confidential, etc., etc.  This client doesn't have a problem with my telling people I wrote the pieces...I just can't say what they're about. 

Same sort of thing happened a long time ago with a speech of mine printed in Vital Speeches of the Day.  It was my first Vital speech, and that's quite a milestone for a speechwriter.  The client was pretty happy about it, too.  Naturally, I asked if I could use it in my marketing and you could have knocked me over with a feather when she said no.  Said she didn't want anyone to know that she hadn't written the speech herself. And yes, of course, that's her choice to make.  But I went on to write even more awesome speeches for the woman, and it kills me that I can't show them to anyone else.

Occupational hazard, I guess.

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