People often ask me why I chose to leave a decades-long career as a freelance writer to join the team at EPIC Creative®. The simple answer: it’s all about the donuts.
Before you jump to conclusions about my dietary habits, you need to know that there is a tremendous difference between the way marketing communications work is done in today’s economy and the way things went when I started freelancing in 1987. To understand this difference, think of a standard donut (the type with the hole in the middle) and a jelly donut.
I started freelancing in the golden age of the jelly donut. Picture one edge of our figurative pastry as the traditional realm of the advertising agency, and the opposite edge as the domain of a company’s in-house communications team. Between the two was a large space filled with the type of writing work I consider to be the sweetest: the stuff that was too straightforward and practical for the ad agency to bother with, but too creatively challenging for an in-house team.
That was then, and now we are in the midst of an entirely new donut. Radical changes in marketing and communication mean that old-line ad agencies have become integrated marketing communications firms. In the name of integration, they now create things they would have considered too mundane in bygone days. Likewise, today’s web-driven shift to quantity of communication over quality has empowered in-house staff people to create things they wouldn’t have attempted before. That old jelly-filled middle has been drawn away, transformed into the shiny, sweet, Krispy Kreme glaze of modern marketing.
To make a long story short, I stopped freelancing because I didn’t like the idea of falling into a hole. It seemed far better to pick sides, especially when I was offered the opportunity to be part of a kinetic, creative, fun and friendly team like my new peers at EPIC Creative.
Once in a while, one of them even brings in donuts.