Notes from October’s PDX Content Strategy meetup

These are my notes from October’s PDX Content Strategy meetup – “Be a greedy bastard: Use content strategy to get what you want!” Speaker: Margot Bloomstein – Appropriate Inc.

The content phase is always to blame. :( Everyone is interested in delivering on time and please the clients, we want them to be excited about it. It’s most fun when people rally around the concept. What is content strategy? According to Content Strategy Consortium – Planning for the creation, aggregation, delivery and governance of useful, usable and appropriate content in an experience. Steps Message architecture Content audit – (what do we have) Prescriptive content matrix – (what do we need) Content model Editorial style guidelines Metadata guidelines Governance guidlines Designers: Ever hear “make us look more like more like Apple?” = Interpret that as a message architecture like Apple’s Confident but approachable, friendly, simple. Content strategy can help you communicate. Words are cheaper than comps. Most people communicate in words more than images. Refinement is cheap in Word vs Photoshop. Use a message architecture to get at the shared language. (She does the circle an adjective or card sorting exercise.) This tells you what’s important in their culture. Prioritize the key messages. Come up with messaging that supports those adjectives. How do we pay for this? Fewer rounds of creative design iteration because the message architecture is dialed. Content and design share a cohesive message architecture. Look and sound consistent. How can you have a content strategy with UGC? Think like a potluck. Someone sets the expectations and tells them what to bring so that the greater experience makes sense. eg. Zappos knows you’re shopping and that reviews are important as are social tools. The Hero is the shopping experience and research. The shoe manufacturer knows that you’re in a legitimizing phase on their site, so their  messaging is clean and confident. The Hero is the product. IAs and PMs: How do you plan for the future you have no idea what you currently have or need? There is a vision, before that strategy, before that assets. What do we have? Do we really need what we think we’re being asked for? Content strategy. Quantitative and qualitative audit. Check length, currency, relevance, on brand?  Does it communicate what we want? No? Use that to upsell the generation of content that serves the right message. Get the client working on generating content that is on message asap, even before the launch of the project. Isn’t CS all about writing? Content Strategy is to writing as design is to photography. Writing is key to content strategy, but only a part of the  way to get the message across. (I also think: as website is to online presence) Message architecture + editorial style guidelines + editorial calendar = a consistent multichannel presence. eg. This week ALL social presence, radio ads, website content is all talking about x. Next week, something else. Content strategy helps instill a workflow in organizational culture. The output of a content strategy exercise can focus a brand strategy. http://slideshare.net/mbloomstein (slides to be posted soon) Follow #contentstrategy hashtag Twitter *** http://johnnyholland.org/ has a content strategy post every day this week ***See skillset.org diagram of interaction design team. read: Margot’s post, The case for content strategy – A List Apart – http://www.alistapart.com/articles/the-case-for-content-strategy-motown-style/

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October 18, 2010
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