Predicate | The Elements of Editorial Strategy


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"The Elements of Editorial Strategy"
CSNYC Talk 09.08.27

  • Don't call me 'Editor', call me 'Content Strategist'...XD
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  • I'll have to make a point to do so. Thanks.
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  • Appreciate the kind words, Fritz. You should come to one of the CSNYC meetups! No download, alas.
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  • Hey Jeffrey, VERY good, VERY apropos stuff. I've long lamented the fact that content strategy (what's actually on the page, screen, etc.) is what people actually use to guide interaction dare I say the MOST (and this coming from an interaction designer) but oddly enough this gets handled (poorly) by clients or 'the copywriter' neither of which gets at what's really the issue. For me content strategy includes everything from what's put on the trigger/action buttons, the body copy on the page, to what links actually say (hopefully not 'click here') to the video that goes onto Youtube to represent the brand.

    Anyways, yeoman job in putting this together. I think you, Colleen Jones, Kristina Halvorson and some others get it and thankfully are sharing the value of the work you do. Would love to work with you on a project one day (assuming of course you're in NYC). - F

    P.S. - By the way, is this preso available for download anywhere?
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  • Love this! sorry i missed your presentation of it last week.
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Predicate | The Elements of Editorial Strategy

  1. 1. The Elements of Editorial Strategy Jeffrey MacIntyre Content Strategists of NYC Predicate, LLC Bond Art + Science
  2. 2. Introductions I’m an independent content strategist and writer. My practice focuses on: ‣ Editorial product strategy; ‣ Building CS capabilities for clients; and ‣ Contributing to our body of knowledge.
  3. 3. The Story So Far ... 2009 is the breakout year for content strategy.
  4. 4. No. Really.
  5. 5. … But Content? Not so much. ‣ Traditional publishing: circling the drain. ‣ Digital media landscape: shifting rapidly. ‣ Editorial content models: under scrutiny.
  6. 6. Trivia! Name the largest publisher in this country today.
  7. 7. Trivia! Name the largest publisher in this country today. Credit: NY Post
  8. 8. Content Strategy/Business Strategy 1. What problems can content strategists solve here? 2.What is our role in assisting the ongoing digital migration?
  9. 9. KA-BOOM ! “We don’t hire editors, we hire content strategists.” CEO Jack Griffin 21 February 2008
  10. 10. Genius Quip? Gaffe? Both. “I’m not sure what that means.” -- Jeff Jarvis “Semantics or fundamental change?” -- Folio “Hope they teach that at Medill!” -- Gawker
  11. 11. Hmmm.
  12. 12. Introducing Editorial Strategy ‣ What? Product development for content. ‣ Why? Because CS is descended from publishing. ‣ How? CSes, like product developers, work between “product” and “plumbing”.
  13. 13. Why Editorial Strategy
  14. 14. “Getting better at publishing is the only way you’re going to get better at content.” Gerry McGovern Content Critical
  15. 15. Defining Editorial Content What is it? A publishing asset. ‣ Repeatable and repeatedly published content in a recognizable form (article, podcast, etc.) and packaged (e.g., edited) for consumption; ‣ Made valuable to an audience by: being innovative; through subject matter expertise or authority; by voice or other brand attributes.
  16. 16. The Value of Editorial Content? ‣ Ebb and flow. ‣ Susceptible to: economic cycles, hype cycles. ‣ The function persists, remains coveted.
  17. 17. Example: “Today’s Papers” 12 years ago, pioneered a daily form of content aggregation for news consumers. It evolved from novel convenience to meta-digest to spin-offs to modular, near- realtime editorial.
  18. 18. The UX of Editorial Strategy Effective editorial content: 1. Creates engaging, unique experiences. 2. Drives traffic to related content. 3. Influences user behavior. Forms a bond. 4. Generates revenue, becoming a product.
  19. 19. The Principles of EDITORIAL STRATEGY
  20. 20. Old Testament ‣ The web is a publishing medium. ‣ Content is integral (to experience). ‣ Content producers = de facto publishers. ‣ To users, the web is awash in content. Site owners feel the floodwaters, too. So, sink or swim. Filter or be flooded.
  21. 21. New Testament ‣ Why? Because publishing is hard. Consider the masthead. Credit: Jessica Hagy via Elena Melendy ‣ “We may all be publishers, but we are not all editors.” -- Jonathan Maziarz ‣ Curation is king. The filter on the firehose as an editorial function.
  22. 22. “The Day 2 Problem” Postlaunch is a project phase. Nothing shines a light on the good faith agreement between client and consultant than thoughtful aftercare. Editorial strategy is about caring for content after launch day. Credit: Flickr Commons
  23. 23. The 3 Tools of Editorial Strategy
  24. 24. 1. Style Guide
  25. 25. 1. Style Guide Think postlaunch: ‣ Reboot the model. ‣ More show bible (TV) or functional specification (functional analysis). ‣ A training document, with publishing walkthroughs for each content module.
  26. 26. 2. Editorial Calendar
  27. 27. 2. Editorial Calendar Think big, think small: ‣ The killer app of content strategy. ‣ Credit: Rural Doctoring An exhaustive programming resource. ‣ Macro: Swimlane visibility across sites and channels, enhancing collaboration and crosspromotion, increasing lead times. ‣ Micro: Asset-level tracking of all content production to reduce LOE, and increase content quality (streamlining “roundtrips”). ‣ The foundation for benchmarking production--and further optimization via analytics. Basis for proof points of CS ROI?
  28. 28. 3. Product Strategy Think product lifecycle: ‣ A plan for content publishing. ‣ Iterating distinctive content products, integrating with business and competitive analysis. (E.g., content revenue modelling.) ‣ Blueprint for each content type’s lifecycle. Programming framework for editorial calendar. ‣ Support technology recommendations and guidelines. ‣ Organizational design (process, workflow, roles and responsibilities).
  29. 29. Case Study* *Fake
  30. 30. The Role of Editorial Strategy in Real Estate & Hyperlocal? A crowded house full of legacy editorial and data-driven upstarts. Just one problem for startups ...
  31. 31. Zzzzzzzzz. Bone-dry data. Useful, usable and highly functional. Engaging? Definitely dull.
  32. 32. Times Editorial Mix Each week: ‣ “Living In …” ‣ “The Hunt” ‣ “Streetscapes” ‣ “Habitats” Rich offering, but suboptimal.
  33. 33. Hmmmm. The story beat and the audience is becoming subatomic, street-level. Elapse 5 years.
  34. 34. New York Editorial Feature “Micronabe” appears periodically.
  35. 35. Print-Native Editorial Concept + Content Strategy = Editorial Product Online
  36. 36. Conclusion
  37. 37. The X-Prize of Content Strategy Bright minds beg to differ with us: ‣ “Publish, then filter” --Clay Shirky ‣ “A messier web” --David Weinberger O RLY? This is the challenge of content strategy. What problems will you solve?
  38. 38. Panel Discussion IAN Alexander, Eat Media CRAIG Bromberg, AOL MATT Geraghty, Razorfish