Everywhere there were help-wanted for ghostwriters and speechwriters just about every week in 2014. David Murray posted them on Vital Speeches of the Day. Gotham Ghostwriters and Silicon Valley Speechwriters also carried the ads. I got calls, texts, and email from Africa, China, Australia and ever metro areas in the U.S.
The market for ghostwriters and speechwriters had tanked at the turn of the century.
After Enron, executives seemed to decide to go low profile. No more of those classy opinion-editorials in The Wall Street Journal. No more running off to deliver the keynote speech at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Then demand went from very bad to non-existent post-9/11. A surprise recession set in. There was no money to pay us a buck or two a word for a brisk essay to be published under the executive's byline in The Atlantic.
We starved. Then we trained in new areas. I got the hang of social media. In Silicon Valley, former speechwriters took lessons on how to create scripts for video commercials.
Now there's a boom. What happened? Well, I have some hunches.
TED Talks got thought leaders' competitive juices going. They know that we ghostwriters and speechwriters think all day. We could help them frame their speeches and published works in provocative ways.
Reputation risk was recognized to be right up there with all the other kinds of business risks that investors take seriously. We were to parachute in and help out. The latest book on that is "The Reputation Risk Handbook" by Andrea Bonime-Blanc.
The money is back. Actually, let me re-state that. It's okay again to admit you have the budget to pay for communications services. Public relations as an industry keeps growing.
Writing isn't being drilled in schools. In a sense, it's a dying skill. Yes, there has risen a professional group of scribes. Those who belong love to write. And those of us who are the executive communications niche can still make a good living writing. Many of the rest are finding that they need day jobs in order to support their love of writing.
And, face it, what mover and shaker wants to invest time sitting at a laptop writing. There are so many events to attend. Important people to meet. Tending to the body at the fitness center.
Of course, we in executive communications are joyful that we can spend more of our time with ghostwriting and speechwriting and less and less in other niches. Thank you, those of you who used our services in 2014. We hope you return throughout 2015.