Let’s Make Content Great Again

Our Intelligent Content Conference was held recently, marking the true purpose of this “Content Strategy for Marketers” newsletter – these weekly ramblings from me. I write this on a plane after an exhausting and rewarding three days of wonderful content strategy talk. I was grateful to meet so many of you and experience so many thoughtful presentations.

There’s lots of divisive talk these days about making things great again: talk of winners, of losers, and of somehow gaining back something we’ve lost. This mindset engenders heated debates about the state of our country or our world. I think in many cases we have lost touch with what “greatness” means.

The word “great” gets lumped in with a sizeable bucket of things with various kinds of value. Made a lot of money? Great! Showed an impressive ROI? Great! Had x number of wins? Regained something we lost or got more of something we believe we deserve? Grrreat!

This week I was reminded of the deeper meaning of greatness: excellence. Do we work in pursuit of excellence? Do we look to raise all boats and bring the way we live and work to a higher purpose?

Do we strive for true greatness?

In my keynote at this year’s ICC, I spoke of the need for content practitioners to find their strategy. I said, “We have to get good at the game of creating content as a business strategy.” What I meant was that we, as content practitioners in the business, need to broaden our skills lest we find ourselves disintermediated from our jobs.

I equated greatness with winning the game.

Along came Andrea Ames, an IBM content experience strategist, who delivered the keynote talk the following morning. She presented my quote from the day before, inserting a word: “everyone.” Her edited statement was “We need to get everyone good at the game of creating content as a business strategy.” 

In one simple but fundamentally better swoop, Andrea transformed the original notion of greatness into something bigger. She made that one piece of content great. 

I saw this spirit throughout ICC: people working together to teach, learn, laugh, and joyfully find their paths to making content great again.

I can’t wait to begin … again.

1 Comment

  • If you just slow down a bit and remember why you’re doing anything, you might find there’s a renaissance brewing. We’re looking to scale meaning and results that matter by actually listening to smaller, more relevant groups. We’re turning off the vanity-metric-driven firehose in favor of pouring individual drinks.

    Let the shills do down with the ship, I say. A difference is the only thing worth making. True success comes from helping others achieve success. Work-life parallel > work-life balance.

    It all comes down to loving what you do and loving the people for whom you do it.

    Every day is a new beginning…

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