Content Strategy at Work: Real-world Stories to Strengthen Every Interactive Project
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Content is king... and the new kingmaker... and your message needs to align with your model and metrics and other mumbo jumbo, right? Whether you're slogging through theory or buzzwords, there's no denying content strategy is coming of age. But what's in it for you? And if you're not a content strategist, why should you care?
Because even if content strategy isn't your job, content's probably your problem--and probably more than you think. You or your business has a message you want to deliver, right? You can deliver that message through various channels and content types, from Tweets to testimonials and photo galleries galore, and your audience has just as many ways of engaging with it. So many ways, so much content... so where's the problem? That is the problem. And you can measure it in time, creativity, money, lost opportunity, and the sobs you hear equally from creative directors, project managers, and search engine marketing specialists.
The solution is content strategy, and this book offers real-world examples and approaches you can adopt, no matter your role on the team. Put content strategy to work for you by taking in never-before-seen case studies from teams at Johns Hopkins Medicine, MINI, Icebreaker, and more. Content Strategy at Work is a book for designers, information architects, copywriters, project managers, social media consultants, and anyone who works with visual or verbal content. If communication matters for your company or client, put content strategy to work for you.
"This book is filled with easy-to-use models and examples from many different resources. The chapters are cohesive and easy to understand…Content Strategy at Work is useful as a supplement for anyone who is knowledgeable or has a personal interest in content strategy."--Technical Communication, May 2013
"Bloomstein is at her most thought provoking when she shines the light on complex projects that present a host of strategic, editorial, design, organizational and technical challenges. For example, the case of the television network that wanted to comingle its programming content with encyclopedic information, a goal that required the active use of nearly every wrench and screwdriver in the CS toolkit. It demonstrates the highly strategic and supremely tactical nature of content strategy in a single project, including a healthy portion of organizational challenge, a common byproduct of smart content choices. In Content Strategy at Work, Bloomstein frames the cases with meaningful context, crisp approaches to problem solving (I will definitely be cribbing from her message architecture client exercise, which she generously shares) and genuine curiosity." --ScatterGather.Razorfish.com
"The newest book to the list, Content Strategy at Work by Margot Bloomstein, is a great starting point for those with backgrounds in SEO, social media, or design. Bloomstein effortlessly ties common marketing disciplines to the emerging forefront of content marketing and does so by providing ultra-readable and down to earth case studies. The real lesson presented here, and what drives this book, is to give the user a better experience, a goal that all marketers, regardless of background, shouldn’t find much trouble getting behind." --SparkPlugDigital.com
"Margot Bloomstein guides us through the lifecycle and mindset for content strategy. The process begins with defining what you really need to say. It ends with a solid plan, and long-term commitment, for maintaining that content. To illustrate this lifecycle, Bloomstein provides not only approaches from her personal experience but also a range of case studies from non-profits, healthcare, auto, apparel, higher education and many more. That’s a wide variety of budgets, team sizes, and goals. Chances are you'll find many instances in this book that make you say, ‘Their situation is exactly like ours!’" --Content-Science.com
"Bloomstein, who heads a brand and content strategy consultancy that helps retailers, universities, and other clients engage target audiences and project key messages through traditional and social media, shows designers, information architects, project managers, copywriters, social media consultants, and others who work with visual or verbal content specific strategies for prioritizing content initiatives to ensure that its types, tone, and media support the customer experience in a way that is appropriate to the brand and useful to its audience." --Reference and Research Book News, Inc.
About the Author
Margot Bloomstein is the principal of Appropriate, Inc., a brand and content strategy consultancy based in Boston. For more than a decade, she's partnered with retailers, universities, and other organizations to create brand-appropriate user experiences that engage their target audiences and project key messages with consistency and clarity through both traditional and social media.
A participant in the inaugural Content Strategy Consortium, Margot speaks regularly—and energetically—about the evolving challenges for content strategy. Recent engagements include Content Strategy Forum London, Confab, edUi, SXSW, Web 2.0 Expo, Web Content, and more intimate regional events across the country. She also helps organize Content Strategy New England.
Margot is the author of Content Strategy at Work (Morgan Kaufmann, March 2012), a collection of case studies, examples, and processes that help teams embrace content strategy on every interactive project. Content Strategy at Work is a book for designers, information architects, copywriters, project managers, SEO consultants, and anyone who wants to create better user experiences, whether in in-house marketing departments or agency consulting engagements.
Margot lives outside Boston with her husband Mike and Ringo, their adorable and talkative white German Shepherd.
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful.
Great for anyone who struggles with – or is responsible for – creating content.
If you need to create or explain content strategy, this is THE source. It's informative, well-written and actually got me excited about creating content a proper content strategy. As a UX consultant, I've seen so many different, unsuccessful approaches by team members of different disciplines to create brand/digital/you-name-it strategies – none of which has a cohesive content strategy that truly informs all content, on and offline. This was really helpful in bringing it all together. I highly recommend it.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful.
This book rocked my world
By S. Brown
I bought this book for a class, thinking ho-hum, another silly textbook where all the authors do is self-reference and add unnecessary multisyllabic adjectives to sentences to sound smart and intimidate uncerclassmen. But lo, this book is none of those things. It is useful. And I mean that. Coming from a person who usually gleefully sells/destroys/dustbins almost all textbooks after the class is over, this should be meaningful to you, too. This book provides real, actual tools and step-by-step processes you can use to conduct a content overhaul where you work - or for your clients. And it does it all without the annoying pretension of academia or the corporate gobblydegook of the MBA set. One could even say the author has... sass! All in all, I will be keeping this book in my office for easy reference, rather than tossing it in the garage with all my other management guides to hubris.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful.
Relevant, Readable, Timely
By Christopher Rockaway
When I became efficiency expert for a Fortune 100 company several years ago, the teams I joined often joked about all the "undertime" we were working that week. That is, time spent barely treading water, fixing things the direct result of either poor planning or poor communication. It was an apt term: largely for that unmistakable feeling of struggling to get your head above water, but never quite being able to.
That's why I value this book. When I joined a Health Care startup recently, I knew that our "undertime" could realistically be the difference between us making it... or not. And with so many stakeholders- watchful investors, outside consultants, and our internal teams of IT, marketing, & operations- how would we stay on the same page while developing a consistent brand for the most important people: our customers?
That's why I love this book. First, it is readable: our president enjoyed it, our IT loved it, our marketing embraced it. Margot Bloomstein doesn't just say "get early buy in from your stakeholders," she shows you how- laying out plans for productive group sessions, showing how to uncover common priorities in a room full of opposing ideas, etc. She doesn't just say "good content has this, bad content has that", she blows you over with examples across diverse industries & content, from Health Care to Education to Jam Makers. She provides useful checklists to track whether you're doing things right, developing solid content & consistent branding. This isn't a book simply floating in theory- it's feet are planted firmly on the ground.
Now further into our launch, we've discovered a bonus: as reality challenges our initial brand assumptions, Content Strategy is the grease that lubricates change. It used to be IT doing this, marketing doing that, the president & investors pushing for that, each of them spinning off well-intentioned ideas while our customers are greeted by a smorgasbord of noncohesive content- a bad dream! Now I say: "Considering how our customers are interacting with our social media, I think our communication priorities may have to change. Also, we may need to tweak our message architecture to accommodate this, & make things easier for them to find." To which multi-discipline teams now respond: "You're right. Let's address X, Y, and Z now, and be consistent about it."
IT, Marketing, Management, & others all speaking the same language of change?? If you know of another approach that doesn't just keep your team on the same page- but helps them stay on a turning page!- I'd like to hear about it. For my money though (literally), I'll stick with Content Strategy at Work.
Thank you to Mrs Bloomstein for giving us a resource that helps real people build modern businesses in modern times. And for helping me personally get rid of that "sinking feeling" at work.
Licensed Nurse, PMI-trained Project Manager I
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