Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken

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Think like a publisher

Categories: Articles, Brand Journalism, Cafe Blog, Content Creation, Content Marketing, Content Strategy
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To understand Content Strategy, think like a publisher.

This helps both clients and project teams understand what content is being produced, how it’s being produced, by whom, when, and why.

Thinking this way also helps you consider how the message is best explained—words, image, video, screencast, juggling dog (forget that last suggestion. It’s early morning and I’m just being silly).

“Content strategy helps you strike up a conversation with the  hearts and minds of your audience.” John Richardson, Content strategist and Copywriter

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Plan, develop, and manage informational content—written and rich media. When you think like a publisher you start with content. It’s not some afterthought. And you avoid the common pitfall of building the site and hoping the content will come.

Has that dog been at my content again? Usable, existing content is hard to find. It’s buried everywhere from a leaflet in the back of a Creative Director’s drawer—happened to me—to hidden in the minds of subject matter experts that you’re not allowed to talk with— also happened to me.

Content is political. Content can also be intensely political and needs countless sign offs and, therefore, revisions (we can’t say this). All of which takes time.

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Let’s start at the beginning. If you want your content on time, start the ball rolling in the beginning of the process. And this is just the tip of a very long pencil.

Content strategy helps you plan for the creation, delivery, and governance of useful and useable content (see Content Strategy for the Web by Kristina Halvorson).

“It plots an achievable roadmap for individuals and organizations to create and maintain content that audiences will actually care about. It provides specific, well-informed recommendations about how we’re going to get from where we are today (no content, or bad content, or too much content) to where we want to be (useful, usable content people will actually care about).”

Critical to content strategy is deciding what you want to achieve with your audience (which might not be content; it could just be an idea). Then decide if your content/idea will help you meet this goal.

 

RELATED: Here is a useful and usable guide on content strategy, created with the collaborative effort of all the global content strategists at Blast Radius —including myself.

 

Talk less about you, but don’t forget to be you.

Categories: Articles, Brand Journalism, Cafe Blog, Content Creation, Content Strategy
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It’s not about you, it’s about being you.

My content marketing mantra is to talk less about you, your products and services, and more about how you can improve your clients or customers lives. Be human, relevant and conversational. But while talking less about you, don’t forget to be you. As Oscar Wilde said: “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken”

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John the copywriter’s recipe for content marketing—Coca-Cola style.

Categories: Articles, Brand Journalism, Cafe Blog
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Calling all content marketers. Stop whatever you are doing and watch this two-part video. It’s that important.

Coca-Cola’s marketing mission statement is Content 2020, a content marketing brainchild of Coca-Cola’s Jonathan Mildenhall, VP Global Advertising Strategy and Creative Excellence, feels more like an internal video prepared especially for the Coca-Cola marketing team, laying out their strategic vision for the future.   Read more

Haut ‘Car’ture | The MINI Brand Store Amsterdam

Categories: Articles, Brand Journalism
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The MINI Brand Store is Amsterdam’s hotspot for urban lifestyle, events and clubbing.

I discovered a number of fascinating facts when I interviewed Robert Dresen, manager of the Mini Brand Store Amsterdam.

“It’s the only MINI Brand Store in the world”

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John the copywriter’s recipe for an art thriller

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My latest journalistic adventure about the reopening of Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum (inspired by a brilliant BBC documentary) has all the ingredients of a mad, crazy, insane art thriller.

The restoration of this national monument to Dutch history was supposed to take three years. But it took them 10 years, which gives you some idea of the obstacles they had to overcome. It was scheduled for completion in 2008.

So what took it so long? Some historic aquatic problem, some logistical issue?

No! The uniquely Dutch issue: The humble bike.

Read the full story in the ZINE, my monthly expat magazine: 

John the copywriter’s summer cricket recipe

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The joke goes that if a cricketer’s girlfriend leaves him in May, he wouldn’t notice until the cricket season ends in September.

For Amsterdam’s cricket-playing expat, nine months of the year (rudely interrupted by rugby) are dedicated to looking forward to the cricket season at Amsterdam’s VRA Cricket Club (130 years old this year).

Inspiring a poem by yours truly. Read more

John the copywriter’s recipe for Kaiseki—Poetry on a plate

Categories: Articles, Cafe Blog, Content Creation, Content Marketing
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Breathtakingly, eye-wateringly, bank-manager-frowningly expensive.

How long is it since you were utterly blown away by a dinner?

Introducing Kaiseki…the ancient Zen art of “eating the seasons”.

A culinary art form that observes the harmony between food and nature and has been adopted among the Japanese elite as the high point of ritualised, no-expense-spared banqueting.

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