Sometimes You Just Have To Pull The Plug
My client “George” made what looked like exactly the right creative collaboration.
A new, investor-funded media site targeted to what appeared to be his target demo wanted to bring him on as a weekly contributor.
George would write a column (unpaid) and be featured on some of their various platforms, such as a new podcast and perhaps physical events if they went that route.
The editor was a polished pro who gave the right answers and was willing to be collaborative which was highly important to George.
It all sounded good—so he signed a simple contract granting them the non-exclusive right to publish his submitted work and he stockpiled a few articles in advance of the launch.
Understand that the launch had been under wraps—he was banking on the editor’s description of their target audience plus her overwhelming enthusiasm for his content and writing style being the “perfect” fit.
Then the site went live.
And George was justly horrified.
The site opened with two videos—and the very first sentence trashed a whole demographic of people in a particularly callous way.
And it got worse. The founders came off as cluelessly arrogant in their video and that tone deafness seemed baked into many of the articles on the site.
Although their demographics were a match, their psychographics were at direct odds with George’s belief system. He immediately severed the relationship and had his content (blessedly only one column) removed.
The moral of this story? Sometimes, even when you do your homework and you take a calculated risk—it doesn’t work out. Just don’t be afraid to pull the plug the second you’re clear the situation is no match for your authority.