Like many across the country, The Marketing M.A.B. mourns the loss of civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis.
Lewis gained national prominence on the front lines of the bloody campaign to end Jim Crow laws in the 1960s. He spent the remainder of his life fighting for civil rights and serving as the ‘Conscience of Congress.’ In remembering his life, The New York Times retold fascinating stories of his bravery and wit.
In a hotly contested 1986 campaign, Lewis defeated front-runner Julian Bond for a Georgia congressional seat. During one of their debates, Lewis delivered a powerful line that’s worth repeating.
“I want you to think about sending a workhorse to Washington, and not a show horse,” Lewis said during a debate. “I want you to think about sending a tugboat and not a showboat.”
This quote from Lewis accurately sums up our M.A.B. mindset. For most of our careers, we’ve been workers, doing the grunt work in the marketing and communications industry — the writing, editing, graphic design and project management.
Many other agencies will focus solely on marketing strategy. They’ll bill you for lengthy brainstorming sessions and create a marketing strategy for you to implement, regardless of whether you have the personnel to carry it out. Those agencies are bigger, flashier and often can charge clients more for their pomp and circumstance.
Instead, for us being a ‘workhorse’ and ‘tugboat’ means keeping our focus on the tactical execution of marketing. We specialize in marketing content. We partner with clients to implement their marketing plans through completion for a solid return on their investments.
Like Lewis, we can never lose sight of where we started. As the M.A.B. continues to grow, we’ll keep that workhorse-tugboat mentality.
The ancient Egyptian scribes were exclusive personal writers for members of the government and royal court. Think of ghostwriters as modern-day scribes. We have a certain panache when it comes to storytelling for our clients, who typically are not members of some official royal court. They are everyday folks with something important to share, but either lack the ability or time to execute it.
I’m Jason Roberson, a seasoned ghostwriter. I’ve drafted speeches for CEOs of Fortune 100 companies. I’ve ghostwritten book manuscripts for professional athletes, politicians and business executives — none of which I’m contractually permitted to discuss in detail. I’ve even written a book on cooking with quinoa, and I don’t eat quinoa.
I got my start at an early age. In high school, I helped my dad write his Sunday morning sermons. For my undergrad degree, I majored in news editorial journalism. I then spent 20 years as an award-winning business reporter and editor for newspapers and magazines across the country. In between journalism roles, I worked for large PR firms, often taking on the responsibility for coaching fellow associates on the art of writing.
As a ghostwriter, my role is to be water — shapeless, universally appealing and agile. The client’s needs structure my writing. I divest myself of personal writing preferences and become the client’s voice. (Simple water typically means avoiding words like ‘panache’ used in first paragraph.)
First, I interview the client. I’m listening to how they talk, what they want to say in the work for which I’m being hired and how they want to be portrayed by the audience. We then set a project timeline and a schedule for how often we’ll meet. To stay on task, I now use specific software and lean on my business partner Jarrod Fitch.
One recent politician client kept an extremely busy calendar, often flying across the country every week on speaking engagements. We front loaded our time together to make sure we had a solid outline and a firm understanding of the objectives. We then committed to chatting by phone for 30 minutes every week. The result: I wrote this client’s bestselling book in less than two months.
Not every client wants a book. Clients have hired The M.A.B. for speeches, white papers, case studies, magazine columns, etc. The nature of the project doesn’t matter. We have a panache for serving refreshing water to our royal court of clients.
We take the best you have to offer and amplify it. We start by trying to fully understand
your message or the cause by which you want to be identified. Do you want to be a public
speaker? Book author? Columnist? Perhaps a combination of all three? Next, we conduct
a market analysis that includes social listening to predict how your intended audience
will receive you. We leverage our decades of experience in working with executives and
our vast support network to help move you onto the center stage. As we work to curate
your strengths, we also vigorously protect your online reputation. We use industry leading
software to pinpoint any online information that could potentially weaken your brand. Our
goal is to put you in the driver’s seat of controlling your narrative.