24 January 2015

Wanted: Entire profession seeks incontinence strategist

I saw this ad on employment website Seek this morning, under the job title "Content Strategist". I think they'd do better hiring an "Incontinence Strategist", because this is among the worst examples of uncontrolled business-related verbal diarrhoea I've seen.

The writing is absolutely awful, using nothing but weasel words, obscuring meaning and using terminology in ways it shouldn't be used. Not to mention the grammatical errors.

But perhaps the most disturbing thing for me is that I have worked with clients who think it's acceptable - in fact, preferable and laudable - to talk and write in exactly this way. Seriously, is it any wonder the rest of the world thinks marketers are complete wankers when they produce crap like this?

As I've noted here before, I also have serious objections to the use of the words "content" and "strategy" in the same department / document / context, let alone the same sentence or job title. Content is not, and can never be, strategy; no-one ever says "Our strategy is to create content." However you define it (and I've seen some ridiculous definitions over the last few years), content is always a response to strategy. Content is tactical, planned and created to communicate and support a chosen strategic positioning.

If recruitment consultants wrote an ad like this for my company, I would sack them straight away. But then I very much doubt I'd ever have chosen a recruiter who writes ads like this.

Worse still, if a Head of Marketing wrote or approved a position description like this for a role in my organisation, I'd sack him or her too. Then again, I wouldn't have employed a Head of Marketing who writes - or thinks - this way in the first place.

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