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Strategy: Content Strategy's Other Half

Presentation to Confab 2011 by Melissa Rach, Dialog Studios (formerly Brain Traffic) Let’s go beyond content deliverables and tactics and focus on the overall strategic process. In this session, we’ll discuss what strategy is, and what makes content strategy different from other strategic disciplines.

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Strategy: Content Strategy's Other Half

  1. 1. Strategy:Content strategy’s other half
  2. 2. What is strategy?
  3. 3. Strategy is …a plan designed toachieve a particularlong-term aim.
  4. 4. Strategy is …what to do +what not to do.
  5. 5. Strategy is …the art of creatingadvantage.
  6. 6. Strategy is …amplifying what you’regood at.
  7. 7. Strategy is …putting your pants onbefore your shoes.
  8. 8. Strategy is …selecting whichstakeholders todisappoint.Bud Caddell:whatconsumesme.com
  9. 9. Strategy is …[Insert your personaltheory here.]
  10. 10. What I used to think
  11. 11. What I used to think1. Bigwigs + strategists2. Research + analysis3. Objectives about mo4. Grand master plan5. Send plan to minions6. Minions rejoice!7. Success + $$$$$$$$
  12. 12. What I used to think1. Bigwigs + strategists2. Research + analysis3. Objectives about4. Grand master plan5. Send plan to minions6. Minions rejoice!7. Success + $$$$$$$$
  13. 13. What I used to think1. Bigwigs + strategists2. Research + analysis3. Objectives about money4. Grand master plan5. Send plan to minions6. Minions rejoice!7. Success + $$$$$$$$
  14. 14. What I used to think1. Bigwigs + strategists2. Research + analysis3. Objectives about money4. Grand master plan5. Send plan to minions6. Minions rejoice!7. Success + $$$$$$$$
  15. 15. What I used to think1. Bigwigs + strategists2. Research + analysis3. Objectives about money4. Grand master plan5. Send plan to minions6. Minions rejoice!7. Success + $$$$$$$$
  16. 16. What I used to think1. Bigwigs + strategists2. Research + analysis3. Objectives aboutmoney4. Grand master plan5. Send plan to minions6. Minions rejoice!7. Success + $$$$$$$$
  17. 17. What I used to think1. Bigwigs + strategists2. Research + analysis3. Objectives aboutmoney4. Grand master plan5. Send plan to minions6. Minions rejoice!7. Success + $$$$$$$$
  18. 18. I inventedstrategy.
  19. 19. It didn’t always work
  20. 20. My theory wasn’t fact.
  21. 21. Classical American Method!
  22. 22. 1950s. No kidding!
  23. 23. The age of the Alfreds
  24. 24. Scientific management means aconstant search for the facts, thetrue actualities, and their intelligent,unprejudiced analysis. Thus, and inno other way, policies and theiradministration are determined…Only by increased knowledge canwe progress, perhaps I had bettersay survive.‖ (Sloan 1941)
  25. 25. “Practical men, who believe themselves tobe quite exempt from any intellectualinfluences, are usually the slaves of somedefunct economist.”-John Maynard Keynes (1936)
  26. 26. Also, very quietly, around 1955the “information age” began.
  27. 27. Did it work? 1960s: Everybody did it 1970s: Competitive advantage 1980s: Market positioning 1990s: Focus inside
  28. 28. Results: Silos
  29. 29. Results: Layers
  30. 30. 60 years later ―Strategy‖ is necessary to survive Profit is the #1 outcome of strategy Classically-educated finance guys make the best―generals‖ Constant research and measurement is required– and must map to money (report progressquarterly) Work is done in functional silos
  31. 31. Guess what,it’s not 1950 anymore.
  32. 32. "Well, in our country," said Alice, still panting a little, "youd generallyget to somewhere else — if you run very fast for a long time, asweve been doing.―"A slow sort of country!" said the Queen. "Now, here, you see, ittakes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If youwant to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast asthat!―- Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass
  33. 33. Adaptability is the keyToday’s sustainable strategies need tohave: Flexible frameworks Ongoing learning/education Quick responses and reactions Strategic routines vs. long-termstrategies
  34. 34. Knowledge is the advantageKnowledge: Gives you the ability to change quickly Is valuable precisely because it’s not easilycaptured Is dispersed throughout the organization Relies on innovation, which is not obviouslyprofitable Requires constant learning and education
  35. 35. Enter content strategy
  36. 36. You have excellent timing.
  37. 37. Organizations need content to survive.They need us.And, some of them even know it.
  38. 38. Content strategyhelps organizations use contentto achieve their business goals.
  39. 39. We don’t play by the rules.Rebel yell!Mo, mo, mo!
  40. 40. No designated silo
  41. 41. Not always at c-level
  42. 42. No obvious super powers
  43. 43. Can’t define value conventionally
  44. 44. They need us anyway.
  45. 45. Start thinking about strategyin a new way.
  46. 46. Never forget journalism is aservice industry.– David Brinkley
  47. 47. Think of strategy as a VERBEverything you do, needs to do one of thesethings: Create clarity Align stakeholders Make smart decisions Operationalize change(Chris LaVictoire Mahai, Aveus)
  48. 48. Deliverables are tools, not outcomes Education moments Conversation starters Records of past conversations Memory aids
  49. 49. Create clarity
  50. 50. We are not competition,we are a complement
  51. 51. Make smart decisionsGive people the tools, knowledge, andexpert advice they need to: To move confidently Act independently To move quickly Make content decisions in their area ofexpertise
  52. 52. Make smart decisions
  53. 53. Operationalize change
  54. 54. We can be strategists AND engineers Strategy sets the stage/direction Engineering creates a solution based onexpertise As content professionals we often doboth And, both are extremely important
  55. 55. Operationalize change
  56. 56. In summary…
  57. 57. Brier’s first lawAt some time in the life-cycle of virtuallyevery organization, its ability to succeedin spite of itself runs out.
  58. 58. You can be aCONTENT PERSONand aBUSINESS PERSON
  59. 59. You can be anEXPERTand aPARTNER
  60. 60. You can focus less onDELIVERABLESand more onDELIVERING
  61. 61. You can think of strategy as aVERBNot aNOUN
  62. 62. Create clarityAlign stakeholdersMake smart decisionsOperationalize change
  63. 63. Help your team beKNOWLEDGABLEandKNOWLEDGE-ABLE
  64. 64. Ready. Set. Go.
  65. 65. THANKS!@melissarach

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