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Can a content strategist also be a visual communicator?

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  • November 10, 2011

Absolutely! Content strategy involves all methods of communicating — not just text, but also art, video, audio, etc. I even apply it to random situations, like, just recently, I volunteered to raise money for a good cause.

Along with all the top-notch, award-winning creative agencies in San Diego — I volunteered to decorate a canvas for Ad2 San Diego Cause Marketing Night to benefit My Girlfriend’s Closet, a non-profit organization that clothes teen girls in need.

What was I thinking?

Watch a Content Strategist Paint for a Good Cause from Shelly Bowen on Vimeo.

[Link to video above: http://vimeo.com/31911404]

At the time, I thought, this’ll be fun! It’ll be a content strategist’s approach, rather than a design or advertising approach. And I really can’t turn down the opportunity to help local teen girls, can I?

Then suddenly, it was due.

I tried to approach it like any content strategy project. Who’s my audience? What will appeal to them? What will best represent Pybop at the same time? What resources do I have? How much time? Will I use words — or let go of the words (a shout-out to the talented Ginny Redish).

As I mentioned, content encompasses more than text. It’s images and video and graphs and everything else too. If you’ve read Content Strategy for the Web, you know what I mean. If I go visual, though, I’ll have to call back to my high school painting skills. Ah man.

So I asked Gary Allard — not a videographer, but a good sport — to iPhone record my progress, and hope some glimmer of how a content strategist thinks about content might shine through. And perhaps help promote the cause marketing event just a little. Even if the painting was a flop.

This is the result.

I’m turning over the painting tomorrow. The event is November 17, 2011. Tickets are still on sale. The thought of this painting up with all the others … I should have painted a content matrix, instead. No?

UPDATE: The event raised about $3000 for the charity. Not bad for their first event of its kind!

Author Shelly Bowen

Shelly Bowen, Pybop's chief content strategist, has led teams of writers and creatives to develop websites and interactive content for more than 15 years. Read more about Shelly.

Contact Shelly

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