It’s every journalist’s God-given right to complain about work. But ask a group of reporters if they’d rather be pushing paper in a cubicle, selling retail or mining coal, and you’ll likely get a very different response.
It’s not like corporate writers don’t have anything to carp about. Unlike their counterparts in mass media, they really have some legitimate beefs. They’re slaving away in an environment that places little, if no value, on simple, clear prose. Few vice presidents notice when a corporate writer scores a bull’s eye with a finely crafted story, rescues a horrendous press release from certain ridicule or reworks some CEO’s goofy message that was sure to incite an angry mob.
One big problem is that people no longer refer to corporate communications as writing. We’re not writers; we’re content providers. We’re information managers. We’re process flow coordinators, for God’s sake. Yecch.
Another problem is that writing is something many people think they can do, though few do it well. If everyone writes, then those people who are paid to do it seem a little less valuable. It’s the same reason photographers are often paid so poorly. Can’t anyone just point the camera and press the button?