20 (some odd) questions

Filling in blanks about McDonough Communications. The path to compelling financial content isn't always conventional. Neither is this.


A Q&A with yourself?

Yeah. I know.

Interesting move.

Is that a question?

Why did you go this route?

Levity?

Who's asking the questions here?

[Blank stare]

Why is Shift|Key Content™ important?

Financial writing requires certain dexterities. But market dynamics aren't always forgiving of the writing process.  

Go on.

The more aware firms are of how to build their best content, the more they can optimize the financial and intellectual capital they invest in their writing.

Who is your target audience?

The broader financial services industry, though investment research is the wheelhouse. Firms with exposure to emerging markets are of particular interest.

What's that about emerging markets?

The experience there runs deep. My primary responsibility at BofA Merrill Lynch involved managing editorial programs for EM research teams. Latin America was a major focus, with projects bringing me to Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico.

What’s one of your goals for EMs?

To alleviate stress. Publishing in financial circles is complex—the content requires nuance, workflows can be unwieldy, and deadlines loom. The wrinkle for EM is that it's likely English is not the primary language of the key players doing the writing.

But ...

... there are ways to make it an easier go for everyone involved.


What does financial content often lack?

Empathy.

Explain.

Writers offer a service. Readers judge the value of that service within seconds of discovery. It's up to writers to be considerate of how readers want to engage content and to adjust their writing strategies accordingly.

Can you summarize the mindset writers need?

Writers, it's about the readers, not you.

What do the writers get out of this deal?

A better way.

What's a pro tip?

Fewer words.

Why does this sound like content therapy?

Because it is.

What content do you work with? 

Short- and long-form reports, corporate communications, marketing materials, presentations, audio and video scripts, emails, tweets. In short, anything with words resembling (or trying to resemble) a complete thought. 

What have you written about recently?

Market volatility, the yield curve, the Fed, tariffs, geopolitical risk, artificial intelligence and the digital world, driverless tech, cryptocurrencies and blockchain, commodities, GICS reclassification, ETF portfolio models, Greek debt, preferreds, China’s macro trends.   

What is the writing seminar like?

It's not one-size-fits-all. And it's not a lecture. Broadly, we analyze the product suite, develop a custom program based entirely on the client's content, and then present our findings in an interactive workshop. 

What are the rates?

This is a take on financial content-as-a-service, where clients can select from a menu of options. Accordingly, rates vary depending on the service(s) provided. 


Why are you doing this now?

Opportunity knocked. This venture is also part of a larger personal effort to take a few more shots. Simple as that.  

What about your own content?

Eventually, the plan is to create space on here to a put a few thoughts together and diversify this thing into a few other areas.

And The Whalebone?

Knowledge.

Anything else?

Words spoken and written mean something. Attention must be paid.