December is typically a time when content looks both back at itself and forward to what it might be in the coming year.
So we see lots of reflection, predictions and repurposing of content as producers plan for the holiday season when resources are usually depleted and not a lot gets launched.
So this month’s Content About Content winners doff their caps to the past but train their gimlet eye firmly on the future.
The Lateral Thinking Content Award
Every content producer, editor or strategist should have an inherent interest in design. When we build content we want it to look a good as possible right? But how many of us have taken a moment out to look at how designers approach their work?
Not many I’d guess. But with this article entitled Design Thinking: How To Solve Problems Like A Designer , Canva (@canva), the graphic design software company, give us content kids plenty of food for thought on how to approach the challenges in our work.
It includes plenty of useful external links including a 90-minute video, case studies, infographics and heaps of solid ‘why didn’t I think of that’ advice.
The emphasis on visualization is so simple and pure it’s only a surprise that there isn’t an entire content philosophy built on it. Hmmm… maybe I’m onto something here…
The Winning Experimental Content Format Award
Using the hashtag #optichat Optimizely (@optimizely) recently began hosting a regular bi-weekly Twitter debate on A/B testing then taking the most interesting responses to their questions and creating a neatly digestable recap covering a variety of responses.
Not only is the content fresh and immediate, it’s accessible, not too time consuming and a great way to participate in a debate.
The idea was Cara Harshman’s who said, “Starting this #optichat was an experiment that I pushed to become reality… and I think it’s winning” so I think it only fair she gets to collect the gong as it is indeed winning.
Don’t be afraid to copy and tweak a great idea when you see one, I know I won’t!
The “PR Is Content Too” Award
I worked in PR for many years and it’s a murky world at best but Debbie Leven (@debbieleven) brings a transparency and honesty to the game which lifts my heart.
It should also raise the spirit of anyone who thinks PR and dealing with the media and getting your stories out there is beyond them.
It is not. A good story will always find an audience.
In 7 Myths Busted About PR Debbie smashes some preconceptions the PR industry would probably rather she didn’t because when good storytellers or just people with good stories find out they can do it for themselves there could be a lot of unhappy PRs skulking in the darkness wondering why their magic beans no longer work.
Good PR will spring from good content and vice versa – they are not mutually exclusive as every good content strategist (and PR person) knows.
And with that upbeat sentiment I can now announce that the winner of December’s Neo-narratives.com Content About Content Award is…
In a month where content typically takes a breather this bad boy was doing laps of the park while the rest of us slept. It had everything – over 100 contributors, sleek design that supported both soundbites and long reads and a plethora of diverse and often intriguing opinions.
Over the course of the month I read interesting articles on the future (and past) of content marketing, SEO, & PR by Forbes, Sujan Patel, Social Media Today, NewsCred, Ann Hadley, Search Engine Watch and many more but it was the sheer depth and clean, functional design which elevated this piece of work to superstar status.
The problems (and opportunities) journalists have today are the ones we content folk face tomorrow so there’s some truly thought-provoking insights here which everyone in content should be informed about.
Congratulations NeimanLab and keep up the great work and don’t forget to send me interesting content at @neo_narratives.com. Best wishes for 2016.