CEO’s Note: On Making Content That Matters

Kate Walton

Kate Walton

When I joined Steyer, back in 2011, I was new to the world of staffing—but not to the world of content. By that point, I had worked for nearly twenty years as a writer and as a manager of writers. Much of my career was spent in the adrenaline-fueled field of crisis communications, guiding executive teams through their handling of product recalls, industrial accidents, and one-off dramas (like that time a bank inadvertently scrapped 83 of their customers’ safe-deposit boxes).

What I learned working as a crisis consultant (and the thing that kept me doing it for so long) is this: the words matter. They don’t change the facts, of course; they can’t undo real-life damage. But the right words—especially words that accept responsibility, clarify next steps, and commit to meaningful amends/change—are extremely powerful. They help brands to recover from a business perspective, but more importantly, on a purely human level, the right words at the right moment help everyone affected by a crisis to navigate what is always a confusing and difficult time.

Because I came to Steyer as such a true believer, utterly convinced that good content matters, it was the easiest thing in the world for me to get excited about our mission. Connecting talented content creators to the teams who need them? SIGN ME UP, I said, and ever since I’ve taken great pride in being part of a team that places skilled communicators (writers, designers, video producers, and more) with a wide range of high-quality clients.

An additional source of pride for me, as we march into our third decade here at Steyer, is that we are not only producing great content for our clients. More and more, we are also producing great content for ourselves, both for our consultants and for the broader community of content experts and hiring managers whom we consider our tribe.

Two specific examples include:

  1. Our Onboarding Guide. We have recently developed a comprehensive (and proprietary!) onboarding guide for the consultants we place at Microsoft. Getting started on a new assignment in an unfamiliar environment can be a daunting prospect. This document provides clear, step-by-step instructions for securing the credentials, badge, and network access that most Microsoft consultants need in order to get working. It’s early days still, but the feedback we’re getting is that onboarding through Steyer is (in large part because of this particular document) considerably faster, and less stressful, than onboarding through other agencies.
  1. A Candid Explanation of How We Work. Most people new to staffing, on both the candidate side and the client side, find the whole scene baffling. Who does what? Who pays whom? And where does all the money go? At Steyer, we’ve made it a priority to answer these questions. We’ve devoted a large part of our website to explaining exactly how our business works, and again the feedback has been very positive: well beyond our immediate circle of consultants and clients, we’ve heard that this information is shedding some much-needed light in a hiring environment that can feel extremely confusing.

As proud as we are of these pieces (as well as the other useful content we regularly post on our site), the fact is that we’re just getting started. Our intent is to keep producing content that helps people in our industry, so please let us know: for you, where are the gaps? What is the information you most need?

While I’m glad that my crisis management days are firmly behind me (too much travelling, too little sleep), I still like a good challenge. So please: send me your questions and your quandaries and, together with the rest of the Steyer team, I’ll do everything in my power to come up with some information that’s useful to you. It’s not a bother; it’s a big part of what we aim to do.

Steyer Associates

Steyer Associates is a content agency that provides top-notch writers and other content professionals to clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-up ventures. We have over 20 years of experience helping clients meet their project goals. One indication of client satisfaction: almost 90% of our business comes from repeat clients and referrals.

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We work with clients and consultants across the country from our offices around the Seattle, WA area and in San Jose, CA. Our headquarters are on Bainbridge Island, a 30-minute ferry ride from downtown Seattle; we’d enjoy treating you to a cup of coffee any time. Get in touch with us directly, or use this simple online contact form.

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