Building confidence and transferring skills with bespoke training for marketers…

McAfee is a long-time Collective Content client. But as well as using us as a content provider, the information security giant drew on our training and consulting in 2016 to achieve more by themselves – both by learning new digital copywriting skills and as a refresher, for almost 50 marketers.

What we did

We previously worked with McAfee in several ways: fuelling its Securing Tomorrow brand publication, writing/editing white papers, ghostwriting executive by-lines and moderating events – as well as providing support on landing page and email copywriting for campaigns.

In 2016 we received a request to provide copywriting training for several dozen McAfee marketers. We agreed full-day workshops, one in Europe and one in the US, would be most appropriate. They were run by two senior members of the Collective Content team, with decades of experience of writing and publishing between them. We put a lot of effort and discussion into how to structure the training and what we’d deliver. This is a service we care about deeply as a content agency.


Each session involved pre-training consultation with McAfee to tailor everything to its specific regional needs. As well as taking instruction from the course sponsor, we surveyed everyone who would take part to identify strengths and gaps. We also provided a pre-training day exercise. Finally, Collective Content also audited 10-12 existing McAfee assets to be discussed as part of the day.


The day’s training itself was intended to be fast-moving and interactive. It was broken down into several parts

  • The principles of writing
  • The fundamentals of storytelling
  • Structure (including blogging, long reads and so on)
  • Headlines
  • Audit review
McAfee Content Marketing


Participants were given templates and tools to make the most from the techniques learnt on the day and the most important course materials. Crucially we also ran a refresher exercise three weeks later to check how the new skills had bedded in and to provide answers and solutions to any questions.


Our main goal was to make sure the training and materials were tailored for the client rather than using a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Working with existing marketing content can highlight how assets can be improved by internal staff with a few simple writing principles that help to build confidence.

We also believe strongly in the follow-up refresher session. It’s easy to complete a training course, store the slide deck and switch off. We’ve been there ourselves.

Helene Ronnmark, EMEA marketing director at McAfee, said: “We thought the guys at Collective Content had a tough job ahead, with varying skill levels and a majority of non-native speakers in one of the two planned sessions.

But by using a wide range of real-world examples and our own company literature, they brought something very different to training like this, ensuring every single person benefited.”

“Not only was it hands-on and fun, the marketing team went back to work with a fresh perspective. The Collective Content approach is based on years of experience working in newsrooms – meaning maximum impact with minimum fuss.”

Helene Ronnmark, EMEA marketing director at McAfee