17 November 2020

What is Content Strategy exactly?

Have you ever wondered what content strategy is? Do you think you know the answer? If you answered "Yes" to either or both of these questions, listen to Rahel Anne Bailie in the following Content Advantage webinar:

https://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/9273/425618?autoclick=true&utm_source=brighttalk-recommend&utm_campaign=followup&utm_medium=email&utm_content=organic

Interestingly Rahel doesn't call herself a Content Strategist any more, even though that's exactly what she's been doing for 30 years. Why does she do this? Rahel says the Content Strategist job title has evolved over time to the point where it is often misunderstood. The end result is further confusion over exactly what a Content Strategist is, particularly among management.

So what does she call herself? How about a "management consultant who specializes in content". This made me sit up, nod my head, and say, "That's genius". Management is able to understand what she does, and it exactly describes what her role is. Talk about communicating at your audience's level.

The bewildering variation of content job titles doesn't help with people's confusion over content strategy. There's Technical Writers, Content Specialists, Localization Engineers, UX Designers, Copy Writers, even Product Content Strategists. The fact that the Content Strategist function is now being divided into sub-sections like "product" demonstrates the issue.

The lack of an industry body for content strategy and there being no formal qualification is also part of the problem. There are bodies like the Society of Technical Communications (STC), but "technical communications" covers a broad base including all the job titles listed above. There are companies and independent consultants that provide training, but it's not compulsory to attend. Consultants like Rahel have built their knowledge through decades of content experience. 

Listening to Rahel, you realize that there is no simple answer to the question of what Content Strategist is. The answer has changed over the last 30 years, and will continue to change during the next 30 years. But there is one ever present constant. The way we produce content may change, but the way it is structured and delivered is key to ensuring it is useful.

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