content

dreamstime_xs_65257404We spend a lot of time talking about, producing and getting client approval on great content here at AHA. We create a range of pieces – from speeches to newsletters, web content, editorial-style articles, infographics, presentations, video series, photo essays, news releases, media pitches, social media content (including Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, LinkedIn and more), blog posts… and so much more. And – before we put pen to paper, fingers to keyboard, turn the camera on, or open PowerPoint, Keynote or iMovie… we identify who the targeted audience/community is and work out where the content will be distributed, shared or shown.

We’ve all heard that content is king, but is it really king if it’s not effectively distributed, shared or shown? You can create the best content in the world, but if you don’t share the content in the right place – the place where the targeted individuals, groups or communities are – then it isn’t effective.

For content to work, it has to be seen, be understood and, in most cases, be shared by the influencers, the engagers and the leaders in the target market. By creating content that authentically speaks to them, that resonates and that attracts, and by making sure that it is seen at the right time and in the right medium or network – you are creating the opportunity to ignite the engagement with your stakeholder groups. This is such an important piece of stakeholder engagement and one that is often overlooked when developing a content strategy. It makes a huge difference in the results that you can generate through branded content.

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http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photos-antique-typewriter-2-image7470898At 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?

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Technology makes it easy to share content. Your website, blog, Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites provide the ability to publish your content. Where you publish depends on where your stakeholder group spends time and it is important to identify how they want to interact with your organization. But how do you create engaging, relevant, timely content?



Create an Editorial Schedule

Do you have a schedule of the content you will upload? A little forethought goes a long way when you are busy and need content or an idea in a hurry.



Please visit our blog to read the rest of the post.

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There is an interesting post on how B2B PR will fail in 2010 on Ragan.com. It’s worth a read for several reasons – not the least of which is the list it provides on what type of content will be important for us to do our work.

At our Vancouver PR agency (and in every city that AHA is in), content has always been important. The stories that we tell on behalf of our clients are at the heart of what we do – we share relevant, authentic and interesting information. We engage, connect and actively listen – not just to what we think will be said, but we pay attention to what is being said. That, however is a blog post for another day.

More and more we, at AHA, find ourselves working with clients to develop their stories, to help them to tell those stores and to distribute them using technology. (Understanding, of course, where the target community lives – either online or offline.) We also work to encourage and facilitate the conversation between our client’s organization and the stakeholder group.

Great content can be found in blogs, in infographics (the incredible charts and graphs that can now be created), in customer stories and testimonials, in podcasts and videocasts, in games and on mobile apps, on Facebook and Twitter, in stats, in produced video or audio programs, on websites, in speeches, in e-newsletters and even in songs.

It is important to understand the community or stakeholders that your organization wants to connect with and it is equally important to appreciate how they want to participate in the conversation.

AHA has a crew of exceptional communicators – talented writers and editors, producers and project managers. We are focused on creating engaging, authentic, relevant content for our clients. It has to fit in within the overall strategic objectives. It has to be current, smart and interesting – whether that means funny, informative or creative.

Content is important – and we know it.

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