When Barb started to write about it, she didn’t even know what to call it.
It turns out, she was in good company, but she didn’t know that then. All she knew was that she had a chance to win some cold, hard cash and, maybe, make a name for herself in the marketing arena.
Acxiom Corporation, the global leader in business and marketing intelligence, wanted to expand its IT outsourcing business, and it came up with a creative way to get some help with that.
It held a contest.
The idea was to engage employees, in exchange for cash and some serious attaboys, in developing marketing materials—videos, case studies, white papers, and whatever else they could dream up—to promote the company’s technology outsourcing expertise. Acxiom provided some ideas, and one caught the eye of this up-and-coming technology copywriter: information security.
By then, Barb Ostapina had a good many years under her belt working with IT professionals, users, and salespeople to document and write copy for information technology processes and applications. And she’d coordinated telecommunications projects for Visa, the credit card giant, for implementations of a credit card fraud prevention system.
Surely, she reasoned, she could write a winning white paper on information security, whatever that was.
Barb started where she always starts when she doesn’t know where to start, with her trusty search engines. She Googled. She Bing’d. She Yahoo!ed. She even considered Dogpiling and Metacrawling.
And she discovered that nobody knew what to call it. Or rather, that everybody called it something different. But that didn’t stop her; she just capitalized on it in her lead paragraph: “Whether you call it computer security, information security, or information assurance, it all comes down to this: the right data in the wrong hands can mean disaster.”
The gaps remaining after her intense and exhaustive (and exhausting) research, Barb filled in with help from trusted and knowledgeable colleagues. She wrote, she edited, she wrote some more. She researched some more, and edited again. And then it was done. In time!
She submitted her masterpiece—“What the Hack?! Securing Information in an Increasingly Insecure World”—took a nap, and waited. With bated breath.
Then word came… Barb Ostapina won!
Not only the loot, but her white paper was so well-received, it was placed prominently, and for quite some time, on the Acxiom home page. Years later, Barb learned from the Marketing Director that her paper was not only just popular, but so popular that is was the most downloaded document in the company’s history.
Wouldn’t you like that for your company? Think of all those qualified leads…