I am Not the Gatekeeper

When I first heard the term gatekeeper, I loved it. It made me think of Ghostbusters.

When I became a gatekeeper in a sense, I didn’t love it nearly as much. Deciding which news was important enough to garner coverage in the small newspaper I reported for, and eventually ran, was a daunting and sometimes gut-wrenching task. It often resulted in me being at a local church at 8 p.m. on a Tuesday night, after a full work day, for a Girl Scout award ceremony. You try telling a 10-year-old who spent a year raising funds and donations for a local animal shelter that you won’t be there to take a picture of her receiving her Bronze Award.

When I came to DDA, being a writer took a whole new angle. No longer was it about what I deemed important to include, what I judged as worthy, or my opinion of what snippets of the township meeting I thought my readers would be most interested in.  When it comes to developing copy for brochure design and development, search engine optimized content for website design and development projects, and all other forms of copywriting, my focus is on what the client wants, what fits them best, and what will utltimately help them to best accomplish their marketing goals.

My proposal development work for animations, medical illustrations, video production, and more, is the same way. Sure, when I was a reporter my primary concern was my readers; the idea was to write something they would want to read, but there’s much more ego in journalism than there is in marketing and advertising, whether that’s hard to believe or not, it’s true. In journalism, if you criticize a reporter for the way they covered a story, you’re likely to get a response you may not appreciate,  whereas at DDA every project we do is handled in many small steps, so that the client has full review and revision rights at each stage, and must approve each one before moving to the next, so feedback and corrective criticism is encouraged.

There are many adjustments that I’ve had to make in the transition from journalism to advertising, but I would say giving up the role of gatekeeper relieved the most stress. No matter how much fun Ghostbusters makes it look, in real life…not so much.