@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 1

KNOW THYSELF:
YOUR SCHOOL’S
MESSAGE-DRIVEN
CONTENT STRATEGY
Margot Bloomstein
Confab EDU
Nove...
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 2

COMMUNICATION 101

© 2013
Democratized communication
is an opportunity.
But tools merely empower a
message.
Sorry, Marshall
McLuhan.
Medium transmits
message—but
demands it, too.
Our brand is a promise.
How can we ensure our news
lives up to it?
Georgy Cohen (@radiofreegeorgy)
CC | #ConfabEDU 6
@mbloomsteinSam Korn, via Wikipedia

Gnothi sauton

© 2013
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 7

Know thyself.
We invest in knowing our users,
but how well do we know our
own brands?

© 2013
If you don’t know what
you need to communicate,
how will you know if you
succeed?

How do you know where to put
resources,...
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 9

First things first.
blog, audit the content, consolidate
site architecture, add video testimo...
Tools enable how
we conceive ideas,
perceive our world,
and see ourselves
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 11

© 2013
You cannot not
communicate.
Paul Watzlawick
OH SNAP!
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 14

What is content strategy?
Planning for the creation, aggregation,
delivery, and governance o...
Why content strategy?
Why content strategy?
Because we all want the same things,
but content keeps getting in the way.
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 17

Content demands attention

© 2013
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 18

Content requires time
Because we all want the same thing,
but content keeps getting in the w...
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 19

Content dredges up politics

© 2013
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 20

© 2013
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 21

© 2013
This is your job now.
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 23

©Skillset.org

© 2013
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 24

Titles < Roles < Skills

© 2013
© The Creative Group
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 27

Steps along the way…
Message architecture
Content audit/inventory
Prescriptive content matri...
Deliverables are merely
punctuation in the
conversation.
Don’t let them replace
the conversation.
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 29

What’s a message architecture?
A hierarchy of communication goals
that reflects a common voc...
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 30

© 2013
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 31

Elevating the distinct and whole person
• Appreciative of the journey, supportive
Rigorous, ...
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 32

© 2013
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 33

Message architecture
Relevant insider
• Smart stuff you’d never hear otherwise
• Specific de...
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 34

A little thing with big impact.

© 2013
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 35

© 2013
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 36

Message architecture drives
platform selection, tone, and
content types

© 2013
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 37

•
•
•
•
•
•

Quick tips
Local/location-based
Checkins
Themed
Deals and badges
Robust user
co...
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 38

Explore the world
around you and learn
interesting things.

Find great local
businesses with...
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 39

Message architecture drives
editorial content choices too:
•
•
•
•
•

Style
Tone
Diction
Sen...
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 40

© 2013
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 41

© 2013
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 42

•
•
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•

•
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•
•
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© 2013
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 43

•
•
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•
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© 2013
Welcoming,
but elite.
Selective?
Accessible,
open, and
premiere.
Traditional,
but with an
edge.
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 47

© 2013
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 48

Words are valuable,
but meaningless without
context and priority.

© 2013
Do I contradict
myself? Very well.
Then I contradict
myself.
I am large,
I contain multitudes.
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 50

© 2013
Words are
cheaper than
comps.
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 52

“Is this what you meant?”
vs.
“Is this what we need to
communicate?”

© 2013
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 53

Why do this?
Let creative colleagues refine the concept,
rather than confirm the purpose.

©...
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 54

How?
•
•
•
•
•
•

Engage in a tangible, hands-on way
Encourage debate and conversation
Ident...
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 55

© 2013
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 56

Why do this?
Promote new content types to manifest
the message architecture—not just
because...
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 57

Why do this?
Gain standards by which to conduct
a qualitative audit.

(What is “good” anyway...
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 58

© Lucas Films

© 2013
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 59

© New Line Cinema

© 2013
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 60

http://nataliaantonova.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/yellow-brick-road-into-mordor.jpg

© 2013
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 61

The organization
Established and premiere
• Founded in 1896
• International reputation for d...
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 62

Message architecture
Engaged and curious
• Creating knowledge by supporting rigorous scienti...
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 63

© 2013
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 64

Engaged & curious? Welcoming? Applicable & relevant? Innovative?

© 2013
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 65

Engaged & curious? Welcoming? Applicable & relevant? Innovative?

© 2013
Audit to understand what you
have and what you need.

Before you can start, know why.
What are you trying to learn
about y...
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 67

© 2013
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 68

© 2013
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 69

© 2013
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 70

Auditing within constraints
• Choose strategic samples
• Variety of content types or element...
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 71

What will you learn?
•
•
•
•
•

What do we have?
What are the patterns, elements, & types?
I...
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 72

Where can you go?
• Apply a rubric to existing content, separate from
politics and history
•...
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 73

Steps along the way…
Message architecture
Content audit/inventory
Prescriptive content matri...
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 74

But first things first:
Know thyself. What are you
trying to communicate?

© 2013
@mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 75

Thank you!
Margot Bloomstein
@mbloomstein
margot@appropriateinc.com
slideshare.net/mbloomste...
Know thyself: Your school's message-driven content strategy
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Know thyself: Your school's message-driven content strategy

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Before you can determine content types and prioritize channels, consider the roots of communication--and education. Start at home. Start in Delphi, in ancient Greece. You'll find instructions key to learning, communication, and brand-driven content strategy: know thyself. What does that mean in higher ed? Consider your communication goals and hierarchy of brand attributes. We'll discuss how they drive style and tone, content types, and the look and feel of your content—and how a message architecture helps ensure your audit is more meaningful and content is more consistent.

Presented at Confab Higher Ed, #ConfabEDU, November 12, 2013, in Atlanta.

Published in: Technology, News & Politics

Know thyself: Your school's message-driven content strategy

  1. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 1 KNOW THYSELF: YOUR SCHOOL’S MESSAGE-DRIVEN CONTENT STRATEGY Margot Bloomstein Confab EDU November 12, 2013 @mbloomstein #ConfabEDU © 2013
  2. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 2 COMMUNICATION 101 © 2013
  3. Democratized communication is an opportunity. But tools merely empower a message.
  4. Sorry, Marshall McLuhan. Medium transmits message—but demands it, too.
  5. Our brand is a promise. How can we ensure our news lives up to it? Georgy Cohen (@radiofreegeorgy)
  6. CC | #ConfabEDU 6 @mbloomsteinSam Korn, via Wikipedia Gnothi sauton © 2013
  7. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 7 Know thyself. We invest in knowing our users, but how well do we know our own brands? © 2013
  8. If you don’t know what you need to communicate, how will you know if you succeed? How do you know where to put resources, time, and talent?
  9. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 9 First things first. blog, audit the content, consolidate site architecture, add video testimonials, add student reviews, develop new brand guidelines, switch to a new CMS, or go “mobile first”… © 2013
  10. Tools enable how we conceive ideas, perceive our world, and see ourselves
  11. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 11 © 2013
  12. You cannot not communicate. Paul Watzlawick
  13. OH SNAP!
  14. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 14 What is content strategy? Planning for the creation, aggregation, delivery, and governance of useful, usable, and appropriate content in an experience. © 2013
  15. Why content strategy?
  16. Why content strategy? Because we all want the same things, but content keeps getting in the way.
  17. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 17 Content demands attention © 2013
  18. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 18 Content requires time Because we all want the same thing, but content keeps getting in the way. (CC) http://www.flickr.com/photos/slworking © 2013
  19. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 19 Content dredges up politics © 2013
  20. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 20 © 2013
  21. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 21 © 2013
  22. This is your job now.
  23. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 23 ©Skillset.org © 2013
  24. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 24 Titles < Roles < Skills © 2013
  25. © The Creative Group
  26. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 27 Steps along the way… Message architecture Content audit/inventory Prescriptive content matrix Content model Editorial style guidelines Metadata guidelines Governance guidelines © 2013
  27. Deliverables are merely punctuation in the conversation. Don’t let them replace the conversation.
  28. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 29 What’s a message architecture? A hierarchy of communication goals that reflects a common vocabulary. Concrete, shared terminology, not abstract concepts. © 2013
  29. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 30 © 2013
  30. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 31 Elevating the distinct and whole person • Appreciative of the journey, supportive Rigorous, passionate, intense • Practical; research & problem-solving Welcoming • Approachable, accessible; inclusive, not entitled • Fair and egalitarian Engaged • Progressive • Community-minded © 2013
  31. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 32 © 2013
  32. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 33 Message architecture Relevant insider • Smart stuff you’d never hear otherwise • Specific details—not just general history Accurate yet accessible • Informal, casual voice • Credible facts Unexpectedly fun • Offbeat and quirky takes on history © 2013
  33. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 34 A little thing with big impact. © 2013
  34. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 35 © 2013
  35. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 36 Message architecture drives platform selection, tone, and content types © 2013
  36. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 37 • • • • • • Quick tips Local/location-based Checkins Themed Deals and badges Robust user community • • • • • • Quick tips Local/location-based Checkins Themed Deals and badges Robust user community © 2013
  37. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 38 Explore the world around you and learn interesting things. Find great local businesses with the help of real people. © 2013
  38. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 39 Message architecture drives editorial content choices too: • • • • • Style Tone Diction Sentence structure Calls to action © 2013
  39. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 40 © 2013
  40. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 41 © 2013
  41. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 42 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • © 2013
  42. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 43 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • © 2013
  43. Welcoming, but elite. Selective?
  44. Accessible, open, and premiere.
  45. Traditional, but with an edge.
  46. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 47 © 2013
  47. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 48 Words are valuable, but meaningless without context and priority. © 2013
  48. Do I contradict myself? Very well. Then I contradict myself. I am large, I contain multitudes.
  49. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 50 © 2013
  50. Words are cheaper than comps.
  51. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 52 “Is this what you meant?” vs. “Is this what we need to communicate?” © 2013
  52. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 53 Why do this? Let creative colleagues refine the concept, rather than confirm the purpose. © 2013
  53. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 54 How? • • • • • • Engage in a tangible, hands-on way Encourage debate and conversation Identify points of disagreement Prevent seagulling Force prioritization Encourage ownership & investment © 2013
  54. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 55 © 2013
  55. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 56 Why do this? Promote new content types to manifest the message architecture—not just because they’re trendy or feasible. © 2013
  56. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 57 Why do this? Gain standards by which to conduct a qualitative audit. (What is “good” anyway?) © 2013
  57. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 58 © Lucas Films © 2013
  58. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 59 © New Line Cinema © 2013
  59. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 60 http://nataliaantonova.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/yellow-brick-road-into-mordor.jpg © 2013
  60. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 61 The organization Established and premiere • Founded in 1896 • International reputation for depth in several areas • Not really a “destination” for tourists—but definitely for academics and researchers Trusted • Known for research among competitors, but not local audience • Target audience is loyal, but places greater appreciation in its tradition and history than modern updates Kid-friendly • Seen as ideal for family visits, school field trips, but relatively unknown for adult applicability within the local target audience © 2013
  61. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 62 Message architecture Engaged and curious • Creating knowledge by supporting rigorous scientific research and disseminating information • Driving the public discussion to promote stewardship • Comprehensive in questions, open-minded in answers Welcoming • Accessible “for ages 5 – 95” • Relevant, tailored Applicable and relevant • Practical; engaged & empathizing with the community • Immediate, cutting-edge, and “in touch” Innovative • Ends > means in research, development, and engagement © 2013
  62. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 63 © 2013
  63. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 64 Engaged & curious? Welcoming? Applicable & relevant? Innovative? © 2013
  64. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 65 Engaged & curious? Welcoming? Applicable & relevant? Innovative? © 2013
  65. Audit to understand what you have and what you need. Before you can start, know why. What are you trying to learn about your content—and your school?
  66. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 67 © 2013
  67. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 68 © 2013
  68. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 69 © 2013
  69. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 70 Auditing within constraints • Choose strategic samples • Variety of content types or elements • Representative of the rest of the site • Core sample a section or subsection (e.g., an upcoming event series or permanent exhibit) • Limit depth (e.g., just the top four levels) © 2013
  70. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 71 What will you learn? • • • • • What do we have? What are the patterns, elements, & types? Is it any good? What do we need to update? What do we need to “translate” for tone or audience? • Where do we need more? © 2013
  71. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 72 Where can you go? • Apply a rubric to existing content, separate from politics and history • Prescribe new content—and reallocate budget and resources—to address specific communication goals • Promote a new editorial calendar • Consider CMS modifications to support new content types © 2013
  72. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 73 Steps along the way… Message architecture Content audit/inventory Prescriptive content matrix Content model Editorial style guidelines Metadata guidelines Governance guidelines © 2013
  73. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 74 But first things first: Know thyself. What are you trying to communicate? © 2013
  74. @mbloomstein | #ConfabEDU 75 Thank you! Margot Bloomstein @mbloomstein margot@appropriateinc.com slideshare.net/mbloomstein amzn.to/CSatWork All photography © Margot Bloomstein unless otherwise noted. Screen grabs property of their respective owners at time of capture. © 2013

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