I was fascinated to witness some of the discussion taking place about content – what it is, what it does and why as communicators we want it. The recent CorpComms Magazine conference in London provided some interesting food for thought about this elusive thing that people are labelling as content.
Perhaps I am just a simple person but content for me is quite straightforward. Content is any information that we can share, circulate and use to develop conversations. Some years ago this would have basically been a press release delivered to the media. Now with social media there is an opportunity to be more creative and to share more information in a lively way.
It isn’t a surprise that video and photography are more likely to bring you successful content. From my own experience it is no different from the good old days of local newspapers. Back then as a reporter I knew the story was more likely to be read if it had a photograph with it. In 2014, it is the same but this has expanded to video, and we are now in a position where we can deliver the content we have to people and don’t need to use a third-party in the form of the media.
I find the talk of content strategies, content repositories and content audits as a bit alien to me. Yes we have strategies for what information we can share, how we can share it and particularly how we can make it eye-catching. And yes we have document/photograph/video storage but I wouldn’t go much further than that. My question is would I need to do those things? I believe that if we have a clear communication strategy and understand how it supports the organisational objectives then we should use our time more wisely in uncovering the information that will make the content.
It feels that the discussion about content is more mature and moves us on from the silo focus on delivering information through specific channels. Content means you need to have an integrated approach to communication and identify what channels to use and why for activity rather than try to just amass followers or friends. I think there is a lot more to come on this subject. I really enjoyed being a part of the conference and it has given me some interesting concepts to consider when I get back into the office.