Every so often I’m reminded why I loathe marketing departments. This is an unhealthy state of mind, I know, as they are Mole Graphics’ principal customers, but they always seem to have a high horse in the vicinity to climb onto whenever you’ve made a mistake or, worse, they’ve made a mistake and want to blame someone.
We had done something reasonably innovative with a new client and, unusually for us, we wanted to tell the world about it. The client seemed fine with that, asked us to draft a press release, which we duly did. Inevitably, when we sent it over, it was completely rewritten - the terms ‘unique’ and ‘groundbreaking’ were inserted - and we then resupplied it for sign off, which was where all the fun started. Turns out the head of PR had no right to authorise a statement without the head of marketing’s sign off. They then proceeded to send us fragmented feedback - in a dizzying array of emails - before the marketing director took us to task, rang me and withdrew the company’s permission for the press release.
When I pointed out that, just that very morning, they had sent us two documents with conflicting corrections, he didn’t say much, although his tone became several degrees chillier (Fahrenheit, not Centigrade, shamefully I’m still thinking in old money) before our conversation ended. Ten minutes later, my sales director burst into my office, looking even more harassed than usual, saying he’d just been harangued by the aforementioned marketing chief - the gist of the diatribe being that we lacked focus, professionalism and were generally not on top of things. “He’s onto you!” I said, which I seemed to find 72% funnier than he did. (He’s been a bit grumpy ever since I told him he’d have to wait a year for his next company car.)
The net result of all this is that we’ve done something innovative which we can’t officially talk about - although if you’re ever in the vicinity feel free to drop in to Mole Graphics and I’ll be proud to show you - irritated one of our newest customers and wasted time and resources trying, as efficiently as possible, to do something that we should probably never have attempted in the first place.
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