I’m going to tell a story that’s ripe with ethical questions (small ones you might say) and a bit of humor. There’s humor in it because it’s so very odd that it took me several seconds to even comprehend what was going on.
Now I’ve probably built up all of this suspense. Not my intention but I’ll continue my story because it’s interesting.
Story. Yes, that’s what this is about. You know… the human element to every business. The why’s, the who’s, the what’s. Any marketer would tell you that the story behind a company is what makes it interesting. Why did the founders start this company? Is there an angle to this story?
So that’s exactly what I told the client.
I said “You should write your story… write a short page saying why you started this company. For the web site.”
“Oh (long pause), I think I could do that. Ok”
“Great then! I’ll look forward to it.”
I thought nothing more of it until our next meeting. Flash forward a few weeks to our next meeting, if you will.
The client pulls out a sheet of paper “I wrote something for the story area.”
She shows me the paper and then reads what she wrote. It wasn’t longer than a few paragraphs and started this way:
“I am a mother of three young children with one on the way…”
Keep in mind this is a site geared towards consumers and probably families, so this sounds great and lines up with the business model.
The rest of the paragraph doesn’t matter. What matters is what happened next.
She changed the story.
Crossing off most of that sentence, she said “I think two kids sounds better, that seems to be the typical family.” She even crossed out the part about having a child on the way.
This is where my mind stopped. I’m thinking to myself “did she just take out a kid?? And one on the way? What?”
That’s pretty much when I realized the story wasn’t even real. It’s just marketing. More marketing without an ounce of truth in it.