The other day I got a message from one of the editors at Contently, where I’m VP of Content. The subject line was “Contently Saves a Dog,” which was pretty remarkable considering we’re a company that helps brands publish content, not an adjunct to the SPCA. That’s not to say our team isn’t dog-friendly—in fact, we have seven office dogs and counting; one of them is even on our executive team. Still, it just seemed a little crazy that we found ourselves in the business of canine rescue all of a sudden.
But it was all true! Let me explain…
One of the ways Contently helps brands is by connecting them with experienced freelancers. Those freelancers then work with the brands to create stories on topics the brands care about. We try hard to make sure those freelancers are paid fairly and quickly; a lot of our founding team worked as freelancers before creating Contently, and we know how hard it can be.
It turned out one of those freelancers, journalist Lisa Marie Mercer, has a greyhound named Whistler who had just been diagnosed with bone cancer.
After desperately trying to raise the funds for Whistler’s life-saving surgery, Lisa Marie was forced to come to terms with the fact that she would have to say goodbye to her beloved dog.
That’s when she got a message from Contently–one of our clients, Silvercar, wanted Lisa to write a series of stories about Audi. With the compensation she received, Lisa Marie was able to give Whistler the surgery and chemotherapy he needed, saving his life.
Here’s the whole message thread (Nick is the Contently editor; Nicole is the client):
When you’ve been working at a company for a while, it’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day. There’s a million things to think about: financial projections, hiring people, making sure there are enough desks for those people to sit at, keeping the snack closet replenished—the list goes on. But every now and again something happens that reminds you why you’re there in the first place. When I started at Contently three years ago, we were just four nerds in a room near Union Square—and one working remotely, sometimes even wearing pants—fueled by the idea creative freelancers should be able to make a decent living doing what they love.
Now, we’re almost at 80 people. We have a beautiful office, cool investors, and hundreds of clients. Of course, on some level all companies exist to grow, create jobs, and make loads of money for their investors. But we like to think we have a bigger mission, too, and Lisa Marie’s story is an amazing reminder of why we started the company in the first place.
Thanks to Silvercar paying Lisa Marie a fair wage, a dog gets a new lease on life. And he’s already back at the beach, romping around on three legs like a puppy. It doesn’t get any better than that.