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Category Archives: Writers’ Prompts & Ideas

How do you create USEFUL user personas?

By | December 3, 2013 |

Answer updated March 7, 2016 Creating in-depth user personas that truly represent your target audience is a science. It can take a lot of research, time, and sometimes tens of thousands of dollars. But everyone needs to start somewhere, right? Here’s a quick and dirty creative approach: First: What Is a User Persona? How Do You Create a User Persona? How Do You Make User Personas Useful?

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Our messaging strategy is falling flat. What’s missing?

By | October 30, 2013 |

You know those long meetings you’ve been having with your team to discuss strategic vision, your meaning for existence, your key differentiators? You might be missing something kind of big. Your consumers. I know this sounds obvious, but I felt compelled to write this because so many really fabulous, reputable brands I’ve been talking to lately are spending a lot of time focused inward, and not much time focused on the reason they exist: to provide something to someone else for a

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Brand Story: Do we really write the last line first?

By | May 14, 2013 |

Start With the End The other day, I had lunch with an enthusiastic startup CEO; she really wanted to talk content strategy. She has an amazing product and goals, and clearly, she could take her brand — and content strategy — in many directions. Is her brand a supportive best friend or an influential adviser? Loud and enthusiastic? Quiet and wise? This will really influence her content strategy as a whole. As she told me about her company, I could see that she had lots of ideas, but no idea where to start. I asked her, “How does your brand…

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How do we make our brand’s personality more authentic?

By | May 8, 2013 |

When you’ve worked with the same brand for a while, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut, writing the same things the same way for all your messaging — whether it’s website content or marketing copy. Your brand has a personality, and as a personality, it should be alive and respond to different situations, places, and things. I know this is hard, especially for large brands with Compliance processes and strict brand style guides. But I’m not talking about changing the brand’s established voice, or expressing a message in a way that’s contrary to brand principles. I’m talking about…

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Content Strategy: Can we just make it up?

By | October 11, 2011 |

“Just make it up,” I advised a client — actually the whole project team — when they were stuck and debating on how to proceed with part of their campaign. Silence. Uh-oh. The looks I got, I might as well have said, “Just throw your money out the window.” I laughed, but I couldn’t back down, because I meant it. I plunged on, “That’s what I do.” No Bibliography Required This fear or resistance of invention — of making something up — is holding a lot of us back. It’s as if we’re looking for a book or resource or…

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Any ideas for sparking a fresher voice for our content?

By | June 29, 2011 |

We’ve reached altitude. I power up my laptop and review my notes. It’s time to build a personality, a voice and tone for my client’s new interactive health initiative. Voice is a key element to a content strategy, and one that usually comes easily to me. But not this time. I have to resort to … haiku?

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2010 Content Strategy Conferences

By | January 7, 2010 |

Looking for a 2011 Content Strategy Conference? 2010 has barely taken off, and I’m already hearing from colleagues and clients about their firm resolutions to maximize digital content assets. We will focus on content this year! Content will give us an edge. We will optimize and maximize our content across platforms. We will assign dedicated resources to create and maintain content. We will know what we’re measuring and continue to improve. We will interact with our fans and customers on a regular basis. One way to find new creative and effective content strategy and content marketing ideas and tactics is…

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