Who Says Church & State Is Ancient History?
Lately there are too many overly gleeful folks in the B2B world eager to declare that the philosophy of separation of editorial and sales, aka Church & State, has run its course. Most of the cheers come, no surprise, from sales people. I’ve not noticed many editors sounding off one way or another. Maybe now is time for them to do so.
Before going further, let me admit that the traditional barriers between editorial and sales needed a rethinking. The time has definitely come for editors to be more involved in marketing activity. And I did speak in favor of that movement during my turns as ASBPE’s ethics committee chairman.
Be that as it may, if the Church & State concept is truly defunct, editors still need to take a stand against content devoted to appeasing advertisers and prospects. In fact, salespeople clearly can benefit by endorsing the preservation of highest possible editorial quality. That can be achieved by reader-oriented advertising hooks. And I have no doubt that editors can team with advertisers to offer dynamite presentations to corporate customers as well as promising prospects.
The above may sound okay, but I am hearing rumbles from the troops about unchallenged flooding of content space with obvious puffery. So let’s not get carried away. If Church & State is truly out of the picture, we obviously need a fresh new slogan that maintains a long-held position that content is king—not clown!