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Message Matters: Confab 2011

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If you embrace content strategy as a way to fuel communication between a brand and its target audience, you need to know that audience...and you'd better know the brand. ...

If you embrace content strategy as a way to fuel communication between a brand and its target audience, you need to know that audience...and you'd better know the brand.

How do you define your hierarchy of communication goals? How do brand attributes apply? How do you articulate a message architecture across different platforms and time? First things first: message matters. We'll put the cards on the table and discuss what you can do to own it.

Presented at Confab, #confab, May 9, 2011.
#ConfabMsg

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  • But we still DO a lot of things….
  • Tactile engagement with brand attributesIdentify conflicting priorities
  • Tactile engagement with brand attributesIdentify conflicting priorities
  • Tactile engagement with brand attributesIdentify conflicting priorities
  • Tactile engagement with brand attributesIdentify conflicting priorities
  • Tactile engagement with brand attributesIdentify conflicting priorities
  • Tactile engagement with brand attributesIdentify conflicting priorities
  • These differ from the brand values, which speak more to the company
  • Prioritized and translated for action (actionable)

Message Matters: Confab 2011 Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Margot Bloomstein
    Confab May 9, 2011
    @mbloomstein
    #ConfabMsg
    Message matters.
  • 2. Why content strategy?
  • 3. Why content strategy?
    Because we all want the same thing,but content keeps getting in the way.
  • 4. Why content strategy?
    Because we all want the same thing,but content keeps getting in the way.
    Fail to plan? Plan to fail.
  • 5. Integrate a new CMS
  • 6. Deliver on time
  • 7. Maintain a consistent vision
  • 8. Ensure the site can evolve
  • 9. Support a holistic user experience
  • 10. Minimize revisions
  • 11. Maintain long-term consistency
  • 12. Keep the voice in error messages
  • 13. Ensure cross-channel consistency
  • 14. Ensure cross-channel consistency…among multiple bloggers
  • 15. Ensure cross-channel consistency…among print and weband phone
  • 16. Ensure cross-channel consistency…between Twitter and Facebook
  • 17.
  • 18. First things first.
  • 19. First things first.
    What do you need to communicate?
  • 20. First things first.
    Why even do this…
  • 21. First things first.
    Why even do this…redesign this website,
  • 22. First things first.
    Why even do this…redesign this website, let the CEO start blogging,
  • 23. First things first.
    Why even do this…redesign this website, let the CEO start blogging, audit the content,
  • 24. First things first.
    Why even do this…redesign this website, let the CEO start blogging, audit the content, start engaging on Twitter,
  • 25. First things first.
    Why even do this…redesign this website, let the CEO start blogging, audit the content, start engaging on Twitter, consolidate the current site architecture,
  • 26. First things first.
    Why even do this…redesign this website, let the CEO start blogging, audit the content, start engaging on Twitter, consolidate the current site architecture, add video testimonials,
  • 27. First things first.
    Why even do this…redesign this website, let the CEO start blogging, audit the content, start engaging on Twitter, consolidate the current site architecture, add video testimonials, incorporate user reviews,
  • 28. First things first.
    Why even do this…redesign this website, let the CEO start blogging, audit the content, start engaging on Twitter, consolidate the current site architecture, add video testimonials, incorporate user reviews, develop new brand guidelines…
  • 29. First things first.
    Why even do this…redesign this website, let the CEO start blogging, audit the content, start engaging on Twitter, consolidate the current site architecture, add video testimonials, incorporate user reviews, develop new brand guidelines… if you don’t know what you need to communicate?
  • 30. If you don’t know why, or what you need to communicate, how will you know if you succeed?
  • 31. Before the audit!
  • 32. Before you blog!
  • 33. Establish the message architecture.
  • 34. Establish the message architecture.
  • 35. Establish the message architecture.
  • 36. What’s a message architecture?
    A hierarchy of communication goals that reflect a common vocabulary.
    The qualities you want to convey, not the points you need to make.
  • 37. Trust me,I’m very funny.
  • 38. vs.
  • 39. I am hilarious!
  • 40. What’s a message architecture?
    A hierarchy of communication goals that reflect a common vocabulary.
  • 41. What’s a message architecture?
    Concrete, shared terminology, not abstract concepts.
  • 42. Make us look innovative, but not risky.
  • 43. We’re smart, but savvy… that’s not us.
  • 44. It should say traditional, but edgy.
  • 45. More
  • 46. More like
  • 47. More like Apple.
  • 48.
  • 49.
  • 50. What does a black mock turtleneck sound likeanyway?
  • 51. Words are valuable, but meaningless without context and priority.
  • 52. Cardsorting:
    • Engage in a tangible, hands-on way
    • 53. Encourage debate and conversation
    • 54. Identify points of disagreement
    • 55. Prevent seagulling
    • 56. Force prioritization
    • 57. Encourage ownership & investment
  • Cardsorting:
    Step one:
    • Who we are
    • 58. Who we’re not
    • 59. Who we’d like to be
  • 60. Cardsorting:
    Step two:
    • Who we are  Who we’d like to be
  • 61. Cardsorting:
    Step three:
    • Prioritize the goals
    • 62. Tell the story of those aspirations
  • Why do this?
    Words are cheaper than comps.
  • 63. How can you do this?
    The money you save in early rounds of creative revision can more than pay for your message architecture.
  • 64. Here’s an example…
    Cheeky
    • Witty and fun
    • 65. Young without being childish
    Customer oriented and responsive
    • Approachable, friendly
    • 66. Championing and empowering
    Helpful
    • Accessible
  • 67. From: Little MOO | Print Robot <noreply@moo.com>Subject: MOO | Order 0629312615 | ConfirmedHelloI'm Little MOO - the bit of software that will be managing your order with moo.com. It will shortly be sent to Big MOO, our print machine who will print it for you in the next few days. I'll let you know when it's done and on its way to you.Remember, I'm just a bit of software. So, if you have any questions regarding your order please first read our Frequently Asked Questions or contact customer services (who are real people!)Thanks,Little MOO, Print Robot
  • 68. Message architecture…
    Cheeky
    Customer oriented and responsive
    Helpful
  • 69. Versus brand values?
    Design
    Innovation
    Community
    Excellence
    These inspire, but without priority.
  • 70. Versus a mission or vision?
    “Great design for everyone”
    Vision and direction are different.
    This inspires, but isn’t tactical.
  • 71. So where to from here?
    Content audit: measure quality against the aspirational attributes in the message architecture.
  • 72. So where to from here?
    Content audit: measure quality against the aspirational attributes in the message architecture.
    “Good” doesn’t have to be subjective.
  • 73. So where to from here?
    New content types: prioritize features against the new communication goals.
    Experience? Portfolio.
    Trust and responsiveness? Testimonials.
  • 74. So where to from here?
    Editorial style guidelines: determine diction, sentence structure, formality, etc.
    Traditional? Longer sentences, more Latinate verbs, pragmatic use of passive voice, etc.
  • 75.
  • 76. Communication goals matter.
    Ground your strategy in a message architecture.
    • Minimize early design revisions
    • 77. Focus the budget on priorities
    • 78. Cut subjectivity in tactical decisions
  • Thank you!
    Margot Bloomstein@mbloomsteinmargot@appropriateinc.comslideshare.net/mbloomstein#ConfabMsg / #Confab
    Title image: http://flickr.com/KandyJaxxHack sign image: http://thedailywh.at/2011/04/30/sign-hack-of-the-dayAll other images property of their respective owners or public domain.