At our PR agency, we have been doing quite a bit of work with clients on the development of compelling content for their blogs, websites, e-newsletters and social media networking outreach. Developing content that informs, engages and creates a conversation between an organization and its stakeholders is crucial, especially in the connected world that we all live in.
Creating great content should be a priority for every organization; but quite often when I speak at conferences, present to groups or even speak with potential clients, what I hear is that content creation is frequently left to interns, junior staffers or others who don’t understand its importance. These people don’t have any content production experience (written, video, photos or images) or know how to link the content back to the organizational objectives. And, if things go sideways and there is a backlash to the content, they don’t know how to effectively respond.
When we work with clients, we make sure that we understand the organizational objectives, we work with the client to develop an editorial schedule that includes key points that need to be reflected in the content, and we set up a process not unlike the ones that are used in newsrooms and editorial offices throughout North America. It is important to take content creation seriously.
I can’t tell you how often I have had someone ask me why no one is reading their blog post or e-newsletter, or why they get people yawning (or worse) during their speeches or presentations. When I ask them what their content creation process is, they look at me blankly and say – “I sit at my computer and write down what I want to say.” While that’s a good start, there is so much more to it than that. What are your objectives with this piece? How do they relate back to the project or organizational goals? What does your audience or community want to hear? How are you going to grab their attention – through an image or a shocking, surprising or clever headline? How will you tell a story, rather than push out information? How will you engage the reader, viewer or listener’s heart, as well as their mind? How will you create a connection with that person who is on the other side of the computer screen or sitting in the audience at a conference? If your content is on your website or blog, how will the people who are interested in what you have to say find you? Do you have search engine optimized keywords threaded throughout your headlines and copy – and is it done in a way that doesn’t take away from the integrity of the content?
Great content takes time and effort to produce and it is well worth it.
Do you have a process for creating compelling, engaging content?