You've seen this before:
Well, the New York City Comptroller’s Office is looking for a speechwriter to be part of its "fast-paced communications team."
Leaving aside the question of why communication in a comptroller's office would have to be conducted at a break-neck pace—but keeping in mind my recollection that this position does seem to come open pretty often—I read into the ad further:
"Candidates are expected to have experience working in fast-paced, deadline-driven environments and should have demonstrated skill in quickly producing clean, creative and targeted written copy. Candidates should be able to write well under time constraints and handle a variety of challenging responsibilities on a wide range of policy areas."
Again, let us not question the breadth of policy areas covered by NYC comptroller Scott Stringer. I'm sure it feels vast to him. And Stringer speaks a lot, "across the five boroughs," on "a wide variety of speaking engagements," often explaining "complex messages to diverse audiences." (Audiences which may or may not include some real dummies.)
So the writer is required, among other things, to have "demonstrated responsiveness and reliability, and must be able to handle several projects simultaneously; evidence of prior deadline driven assignments expected."
Read: In your writing samples, don't send us no sonnets.
Finally: "Those who write quickly, creatively, and independently are strongly encouraged to apply."
Oh, "creatively" too! Well, in speechwriting, that goes right along with "independently." Ah yes: The old "write down my ideas as if I had them" routine.
Salary range: $75K-$100K.
I wouldn't do this job for twice that.
Scott Michaud says
Yep, another boss undervaluing what good speechwriting actually costs… if only someone had produced a report on the true market value of experienced speechwriters. 😉
David Murray says
From where I sit, the low salary is the best part of this job.
Having been in the job market for the past 15 months, I can testify that this is a fairly standard salary range for an experienced speechwriter. It’s depressing. I had one major company interview me for what seemed like an interesting “content editor” job that involved a heavy load of speechwriting. They wanted someone with journalism experience (check), minimum 8 years corporate speechwriting experience (check), social media experience (check) … the list went on and on. Then I asked the recruiter about the salary range. “They will pay up to EUR 70,000.” I tried not to laugh. But I did share with the recruiter that I made more than that as an AP reporter … 20 years ago!
David Murray says
It’s complicated by industry and region, but for experienced writers in corporate jobs, PSA’s salary survey (you saw this last year when it came out, yes?) found better results than that. And you yourself made lots more than this in your corporate jobs. Are you observing that speechwriting salaries are actually declining in this tight job market? That’ll certainly be a trend to watch for when we redo our survey a couple years hence.