Why our organizations need to get – I mean, really get – content strategy

A web primer in 3 parts


Storytelling? Great, now we need digital content to “tell our story.”

And we need to update members on news and the issues we work on.

We also need content for our online learning program.

We need a video on that.

We could always just post the PDF to the website.

I want that on the front page.

Delete everything older than 4 months.

We need to post something on the Facebook.

Can you put this report on the line?

We need a new article about the other thing.

Any clicks yet?

What kind of online learning platform should we use?

What do we tweet about today?

We need a video explaining the thing.

Just move that stuff to the archive section.

Everyone’s got a podcast now. Where’s our podcast?

Just delete those pages.

We need to say something about the thing next week.

On the front page.

Can you write something about that?

We’re promoting the conference, right?

We should have a game.

Just turn the press release into an op-ed.

And delete all those pages from three years ago.

Can you put this on PowerPoint?

We need three more articles to fill our email newsletter.

We need an info-graphic.

Is there a poster?

We’re launching next week.

Delete that, too.

How many clicks did it get?

Please put that on the front page.

We need an ebook on this.

Make this into an online version.

And a white paper.


This video doesn’t quite get us there.

Can we turn that into an app?

We need to update our Facebook page.

Someone said something mean on our Facebook page.

We need to pay Facebook more money to reach our members.

We need to redo that video, again.

Nobody’s reading our tweets. Or maybe they are?

Post the PDF to the website.

We need a video about this too.

What should our podcast be about?

Do we still have a blog?

Put this press release on the blog.

Make this into an online course.

Put my speech on the front page.

Just post the PDF to the website.

Doesn’t everyone like a good PDF?


I’m in a swamp…

I’m sinking…

I’m sinking into the swamp…

I’m going down…







Page not @#$*&!! found.



Up from the digital primordial ooze.

Up from the great glutinous amoebic content swamp.

Up from the best efforts of thin-stretched overburdened communications staff and “I do everything” staff.

Emerges a strategy. To save the day.

A content strategy.

It has three major components:

  • content life-cycle – the cradle-to-cradle arc which describes how digital content is created, gets published, gets promoted, gets housed, gets retired, and, one fine day, gets repurposed to live again. For example, “old” content isn’t fodder for deletion. It’s rich material for rebirth and recreation as educational materials for your online learning program, or a resource library available to all.
  • content calendar – the product of an ongoing discussion about organizational publishing dates and timelines. This is a living process where different teams and departments come together to map out their respective content horizons. This is where alignment helps your group go further, together.
  • A practice of the art of content repurposing – where content can be tweaked, reshaped, reimagined and recontextualized to fit a new kind of program or initiative. This is where our digital wheels are not reinvented but set in motion, in sync and in synergy. This is the artful practice of making the most of your resources, honing your message and lightening your load.

This is how developing and implementing an effective content strategy can do double-duty as a solid mechanism to strengthen your organization. Content strategy brings your people together, unites your teams or departments in common cause, builds bridges and deepens understandings of different roles, expectations and needs.


Use content strategy as a way to streamline content production across your (stronger) organization – and bring your people together in the shared telling of your story.

Imagine a world….where your storytelling, your education programs, and your marketing and engagement efforts all come together to sing in harmony.

They’re singing different songs but they all build up to one musical extravaganza that’s hard to beat. Because your people making the content are like an orchestra, and the content they create are your instruments, and your content strategy is your conductor.

Content strategy is where we put it all together, where your organization streamlines content production, publishing and unpublishing. It’s the digital delta of all your content rivers. It’s a fertile, rich, vibrant place.

Don’t like the music and river metaphors? I got others.

Questions? Get in touch via the contact page.

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