It’s Not Me or You. Amicably Divorcing Your Digital Content Marketing Writer

by Gabe Arnold

Your marketing writer spins out content week after week to boost your web presence and drive traffic. Unfortunately, you notice that the copy is driving consumers in the wrong direction. Perhaps even into the competitor’s open Web arms.

To be honest, sometimes working partnerships loose their steam. Maybe your business goals shifted and your content writer finds the adjustment difficult. Perhaps the relationship started rocky and simply never improved. Or, maybe the analytics indicate your marketing writer is continually missing the mark of effective content.

In reality, we tend to hold onto poor performing employees longer than we should. After all, while work related, it is a relationship. And, the awkward conversation that things are not working out is often best avoided. Or, so we think.

Unfortunately, bypassing this conversation and maintaining the status quo hurts your company and your writer. Ending things quickly, yet appropriately allows everyone to move onto greater success.

So, how do you amicably divorce your digital content marketing writer?

Tips for Grace-filled Firing

Whether hired for one project or working with your company for years, the process of letting a writer go is not an easy one. I am not sure even Donald Trump relished uttering those fateful words, “You’re fired” (though to some, he seemed to enjoy it).

Check out these tips for easing the process for all involved:

Check Your Mindset

Before going into a conversation to dissolve a relationship, prepare yourself. First, know the reasons it is not working. Form simple, easy to understand explanations. Second, choose words of grace and kindness. If any underlying hurts or issues exist, prepare to air them appropriately and with a mind toward resolution.

Be Clear and Honest

In the conversation, keep your language clear and to the point. Beating around the bush to avoid hurt feelings only leads to greater confusion. Guard feelings with kindness instead of avoidance.

Furthermore, be honest. While the truth sometimes hurts, your marketing writer deserves to know the issues at hand. For example, if meeting deadlines is a problem, he or she then understands how to improve performance in future work and life experiences.

Maintain Dignity

Holding your emotions in check helps to protect the dignity of the writer (and, demonstrates yours). Use professional language which affirms respect. Conduct the conversation privately. Remember that no matter the issues, you are dealing with a human being.

Avoid accusations and humiliation. For instance, an employee or contractor fired in public embarrasses him or her as well as puts others on edge, threatening company morale. Handling this dialogue after hours proves even better for the entire workforce.

Enlist a Partner

Human resource workers, a lawyer, police escort or a reliable employee acting as a witness to the conversation proves wise. This second set of eyes and ears confirm your behavior in the case of a lawsuit. Also, if the meeting begins to get out of control, help is at hand.

Watch Legalities

Prior to firing a writer, be aware of the legalities surrounding the relationship. For instance, consider if your actions break any contracted agreement. Or, do your reasons bridge an act of discrimination? Consulting your lawyer to discuss potential issues ahead of time is worth the effort.

Give Warning

Surprise firings (except for serious policy violations) demonstrate disrespect. If issues arise with a writer’s performance, he or she should be made aware of them in regular reviews. These should be face-to-face and also written for the sake of clarity and legalities.

Giving a writer the chance to correct problems may alter the course you take. Improved content and a working relationship may result. If poor performance continues, the termination discussion becomes a natural next step which (slightly) eases the conversation for both of you.

Maintain Professionalism

No matter the course of the conversation, hold to confidentiality. Even once a writer leaves your company, avoid bashing their work or character. Also, appropriately inform other employees or clients on an as-needed basis with only the necessary details. This protects the writer’s reputation and yours.

For more suggestions, check out this video on 11 Tips for Firing an Employee.

The Obstacles to Firing a Marketing Writer

Whether for poor performance or ill-fit, letting a content writer go gently works in the best interest of you and the writer.

  • The fear of finding another writer,
  • The pressure of needing continuing content,
  • The concern that the next writer may be worse,

.. all hold companies captive to poor work relationships and leave writers frustrated and undeveloped. Set these reasons aside. Take the plunge to do the right thing for your content, your company and your content writer.

If you are looking for a new marketing writer relationship, let us be your rebound.

Our goal is to meet your content needs with timely, personally-tailored content in an amicable work relationship. The length of time our customers remain with us attests to our success in doing so.

Give us a call today for your free consultation.

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