Casting a reality check on real-world conundrums
Mucked-up Marketing Materials
When an association
convinces you to present a
free breakout session “for the
exposure,” you submit your
conference session title and
description. A few weeks
before the event, however,
you notice your verbiage
has been changed in the
materials and the writing style is sloppy.
Furthermore, words were deleted that
refer to your brand, thereby diminishing
your ability to differentiate yourself. How
would you handle this situation?
It’s a common
mistake for a client to
Here’s how I would
handle this situation.
Step 1: Don’t freak out.
Stu happens. Step 2:
Ask if the description
can be changed for
the next printing. If
not, proceed to Step
3, which is show up,
be professional, and
do a fabulous job.
Make sure that attendees fully understand what you do.
■ I’d contact the meeting planner and state that the new wording is misleading. I also would offer to submit extra materials during my program and make them available through the conference
Web site, and give added value with extra audio and video clips.
By doing so, I can turn “lemons” not into lemonade—but champagne! I’ll get more and better exposure, attendees will get more
value, and the meeting planner will look like a hero.
—Terry L. Brock, Orlando, Fla.
If I agreed to do
the presentation and
someone screwed up
the marketing, I have
two options: I can be
annoyed, or I can deliver a bang-up program. In this case, I
would choose the latter. Upon receiving
the marketing materials, I also would recon-
rm the program with
the meeting planner
to ensure we’re on the
same page. On the
day of the event, I’d
work the halls and invite people to come
play with me. In the
end, the audience determines your brand
■ I would express my disappointment to the association so it
doesn’t repeat the same mistake with another speaker. I would
keep my commitment to do the breakout, and distribute my own
well-written bio at the conference. In the future, I would clarify an
association’s guidelines for its marketing materials (type of description, word count, etc.) and insist on approving any changes.
—Lynette Landing, Morrisville, Pa.