Why Bots Could Be The Best Thing to Happen to Writers

Before I hit send on this piece, I passed the words on your screen through a program called Grammarly. While it is not a foolproof editor, its algorithm will likely catch grammatical issues immediately that would take me multiple times to spot (if at all). It will also confirm to me that I haven’t stolen the below copy from another writer through its plagiarism engine. It’s just one piece of technology that helped bring this article to life.

There will not be any spelling errors because a little underline appears when I try to do that, alerting me to a missing or extraneous letter or a futile attempt at spelling out a florid* word.

* I previously used the word fancy, but a trip to Thesaurus.com led me to change it to florid.

My SEO plugin has made multiple suggestions on word usage to make sure this article reaches as wide an audience as possible. I used a headline optimizer to come up with the best way to draw you in.

There are countless ways that technology improves upon the written word. Some have been around for so long that we barely appreciate them anymore.

But because it often assists us in the background, we tend to treat mentions of technology as career destroyers, not job enhancers. Especially when we’re discussing bots capable of writing the very stories we write today.

As a reader, you have likely read a bot-written article in a newspaper powered by technology like HeliografNarrative Sciences, or others.

If you are a writer, this may potentially keep you up at night. You fear the bots are coming to take your job. And, it’s true, bots might replace a lot of editorial employees. But, if you’ll read on, allow me to propose a more optimistic result of the bot revolution.

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CODA

Last night, I watched the Pittsburgh Steelers play the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football. If I hadn’t and wanted to know what happened, I could look at any number of recaps filed last night and this morning. While each story undoubtedly has its unique take on the night, the reality is that all of those stories present a collection of data points.

The key themes of the football game:

Who Won: Pittsburgh, who are still in 2nd place in the conference and lead their division.

How They Won: Comeback – they were down 17 points.

Who They Beat: Cincinnati, who now has a 1% chance to make the playoffs.  This is the sixth straight time they’ve lost to the Steelers. Pittsburgh is 62-35 all-time against Cincinnati.

Key Stats: LeVon Bell gained 182 yards from scrimmage and a TD, A.J. Green had 77 yards and 2 TDs, and Antonio Brown had 101 yards and a TD.

Miscellaneous: Multiple players exited the game and did not return. However, one person, Ryan Shazier exited with a traumatic back injury – where he was not immediately able to move his legs, stoking fears of paralysis (he appears to have been very lucky, but still TBD)

These are all distinct, data points that a bot can easily access. Currently, that bot is going to do some things better than a human (access deep, nonobvious trends and stats that a human might not detect or be able to find) and things worse (describe the horror on the field when Shazier went down). A bot might also get tripped up by some confusing narratives (Pittsburgh won yesterday despite having significantly underperformed Cincinnati in 3rd down conversions, which usually implies overall success) Or does it? The point is it would take me a significant amount of time to try that theory out, whereas a bot can have that info on hand.

Point being, bots are ready to take on a lot of sports coverage. And can probably outperform human writers in educating readers on some story templates. This is why the Washington Post is farming out local area sports coverage to bots. And the technologies are only going to get better.

But all is not lost. The ideal template for at least the next couple of years is a writer/editor relationship between bot and human. The bot writes the first draft and the human edits the final draft off of that template (adding color, moving around grafs, removing the less important info). If you think about bots are editorial assistants as opposed to replacement, it seems more empowering and less frightening.

It will also likely free up editorial bandwidth to pursue the narrative stories that bots are much further away from solving.

Such as: what drove Ryan Shazier and others to continue playing football despite the dangers.

The future is uncertain and frightening, but we should keep a grounded perspective. If you think of a bot not as your competition, but as one of those person assistant robots made famous by science fiction movies, it becomes less scary. But maybe don’t think about HAL-9000.

Why Editorial Make The Best Marketers

It is brutal out there for those working in editorial. From pivots to video and extensive layoffs, job security is an illusion. While that is depressing and many people will find no solace in this, journalists and editors are an in-demand workforce. This is because content is now among the most valuable marketing tools for any company.

I do sincerely hope that journalism thrives and those out of work find (or start) the next great journalistic enterprise. But for those that don’t, a new career awaits.

And for companies looking to bolster their marketing departments, here are a couple of reasons why you should look to journalists for their next job opening.

  1. Content is the lifeblood of a modern marketing organization. The average consumer’s attention is spread out over an almost incalculable amount of sources. And they have particular needs without having a high criterion of how someone meets those needs. They may want to be entertained… or informed… or shocked… or brought to tears. While it’s not always easy for a brand to do that, it’s not impossible.
  2. They bring a new mentality. It’s not shocking to point out that brands can sometimes get into trouble and obfuscate their way out of it. They usually get figured out and, as we learned from Watergate, the coverup is worse than the crime. Journalists can imbue within the organization a sense that the truth is advisable and can be used to one’s advantage.
  3. They don’t bullshit. Companies can often get lost in and in love with the mythos of their brand. Storytelling gets lost. A journalist cannot repeatedly mail in a story and keep his or her job. He or she can tell you when your brand is not resonating and likely why.
  4. They are sponges. Journalists are curious by nature. If you want someone who is going to be determined to learn every day, you often cannot find a better fit than a person who has taught his or herself how to understand entirely new industries just through research and dedication.
  5. The job’s the thing. While the traditional path of promotion for writers is to become an editor, not all (in fact many) do not want to be editors. Managing career paths is a challenge for all industries, but it’s especially prevalent in media. Some just want to grow their stature as a writer and obviously make more money. In a marketing department beset with ego and title hawking, you can have a dedicated worker who just wants to do good work and be paid fairly without needing to manage people or have the loftiest title.

Of course, there are exceptions to this rule, but you’ll find a lot of journalists embody the above. It’s definitely a buyers market for editorial talent, but don’t take it for granted. Smarter companies have been hiring journalists for a long time. If you haven’t started, now is the time.

Destination: 2020

 

In the year 2020, in the year 2020!!!!!!!!!

The Wall Street Journal tackles a pernicious trend taken root in governance and corporate America. The rise of the 2020 report!

But not just any 2020 report, there are multiple organizations that have rolled out documentation called Vision 2020, which, as the WSJ reports, has dismayed eye doctors for hijacking their phraseology.

Behold some of the offerings:

Vision 2020: NYC Comprehensive Waterfront Plan – NYC.gov

Strategic Plan – Vision 2020 – Defense Security Cooperation Agency

Vision 2020 – Siemens AG (PDF warning)

Futuristic reports like these are very easy to churn out seemingly credible accounts, but they fail to illuminate upon closer inspection. They mostly follow the idea that globalization will continue, culture is important, and the world is changing rapidly. And so?

Perhaps a little over two years from now is not an important milestone. AI will be improved, remarkably so, but will it have reshaped our world yet? The erosion of the human workforce is approaching, but can anyone even credibly predict what that will mean and how we’ll address that?

I’d like to see someone take a crack at Vision: 3030 (someone else besides Deltron, that is). Will we all be half-cyborgs? Will the rock on which we currently stand be burning and will we have escaped it? Not sure, but I’m willing to bet culture will be important and globalization will be continuing

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Today’s Bonus Thought

Some damning reportage out of Forbes on Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross regarding his net worth. It is said that he has exaggerated his finances by a figure of $2 billion! The entire piece is a study in abject narcissism, where you are left shaking your head at the amount of time Mr. Ross spent haranguing Forbes about accurately depicting his wealth and then trying to weasel out of reportage of his deception. Of all of our great pathologies, our self worth over our net worth is one of the most destructive.

 

Pizza Parties and Other Important Matters

I’m trying to square Papa John’s logic that the furor around the NFL protests is driving down its sales (Pizza Hut says sales are great; we’re still waiting for Taco Town’s quarterly earnings call to see what they say)

is
Papa John’s certainly should have pull with the NFL; they are the league’s official pizza and their ongoing campaigns with retired NFL star Peyton Manning brings them even closer to the orbit of the football-watching public.
But Papa John’s doesn’t make it clear WHY sales are down? Are people boycotting sponsors too? While that is a usual tactic (to force corporations – in this case the NFL – to accede to a movement’s goals, it rarely has a material effect. And I had not previously seen any specific Papa John’s boycotts.
Ratings are down, yes; and some studies point to the protests as a partial reason. But overall TV viewership is down (+/- 5%) – and it is more significantly down as a whole than football. And is logical. People want to watch anything on their own schedule; live sports is one of the few things that people still make appointment viewing.
But that decline in viewership is unlikely to produce huge depression in the addressable audience.
Do the (small amount relatively speaking of) people who previously watched the NFL who have boycotted it also index high in Papa John’s customer base?
Or is it more likely that Papa Johns has fallen behind the innovations of its competitors Pizza Hut and Dominos? If we’re to take the pizzas on equal quality footing (I plead ignorance as a New Yorker; I do not wish to find out which is currently the best pizza of that dominant trio).
Dominos has taken a HBR case study approach to its advertising – eviscerating its past self to make its current version palatable. It is also known for being an innovator in technological developments – it’s the 10 year anniversary of None Pizza with Left Beef, after all.
Pizza Hut is in the midst of a major technological leap forward (or so it claims) through advanced heating mechanisms
Papa Johns, on the other hand, is known for its ubiquitous ads with Peyton Manning, who, again, is retired. No new advancements, save for limited edition topping styles. The pizza is the same. The tech is the same. The ordering is more or less the same.
While it is not like Papa Johns has avoided the tech revolution, they always seem a step behind. Is that the missing ingredient? I’m not sure, but it’s as plausible as (slightly) worse ratings.

HR Is Ill-Equipped and Other News that Matters

Thought of the Day

HR will never be effective enough against harassment as long as it reports directly to the CEO/C-Suite. Companies that can afford to do – as a competitive advantage – should design an external body to respond to these complaints, much like a public editor responds to reader complaints. A select group of employees could independently oversee this function. Only an impartial organ can truly feel approachable by the entire workforce.

ONTO THE NEWS

In the secretive world of watches, Zenith decides to share (NYT)

Why it matters: Businesses are studying the effects of the sharing economy and looking for ways to diversify their income streams. IP and platforms can provide a steady stream of income that can buffer against poor sales quarters.

Google’s first step in air-travel dominance—stop sharing intel with competitors (Fast Company)

Why it matters: Google courts scrutiny with every move it makes because of its size and the breadth of services it provides. Some services are quasi-utilities – usually from previous acquisitions – that helps the company guard against anti-trust questions. But, individually, they make decisions to eliminate sharing of information from these utility-like products in order to bolster their own business. And this brings on the scrutiny and questions of whether they are choking competition. Rinse and repeat.

Why Your HR Department Can’t Stop Sexual Harassment (Bloomberg)

Why it matters: There have been far too few deep investigations into how and why HR departments fail employees when it comes to any type of harassment. HR is often a thankless job, and it is sometimes seen as an extension of the C-suite (which sometimes is the domain of the harasser(s)) and a defender of a company. This article offers some helpful advice, paramount of which is the suggestion that harassment reporting protocol be mentioned in open meetings, so employees have a frame of reference and an invitation to talk about what has happened to them or someone with whom they work.

How to Run Discovery For Content Strategy

This is part of a series of articles entitled “A Definitive Guide to Content Marketing”. Read the whole series here.

What is discovery? If you’ve ever watched a legal thriller, you have heard the term discovery, which means:

Discovery enables the parties to know before the trial begins what evidence may be presented. It’s designed to prevent “trial by ambush,” where one side doesn’t learn of the other side’s evidence or witnesses until the trial, when there’s no time to obtain answering evidence.

Discovery, in marketing terms, is to identify all of the aspects that will influence your content marketing strategy. Ideally, you hold discovery as an in-person meeting, but it can be done online through a shared document. In the case of the latter, you’ll still want to block off time and have a conference call while updating the document. Use a digital app like Trello, or stick things up on the wall in a conference room.

The person who is ultimately responsible for the final product should lead the discussion. At first, encourage people to start dumping ideas out of their skulls.

Start with building blocks. Things you want to cover, sketch a logo, what would your Facebook page look like, how would you handle Q&As, who would be your biggest get for a live event. What would a theme week look like? The adage “there are no bad ideas” is especially apt here.

Discovery works better with a couple of people (but not too many, as it will get noisy and off-track very quickly). Encourage everyone to do their own discovery in advance of the meeting. Tell them to come equipped with story ideas and thoughts of what the brand means/should mean.

Now try to hone into recurring themes and ideas that resonated with most people. Flesh them out and give them greater context.

Keep detailed notes from this session, but don’t expect to figure it all out. Make a goal of having at least three universal themes answered. Sample themes: what is our major area(s) of focus?

Select one person to take copious notes. You should make both the raw version (literally verbatim) and the cleaned up copy available for all participants.

This is part of a series of articles entitled “A Definitive Guide to Content Marketing”. Read the whole series here.

How to Document Everything for Your Content Marketing Plan

But documentation is not just about printing out reams of paper or setting up a wiki. It’s a living functionality. Documentation has versions. It requires discussions. It involves reminders. Documentation is the engineering of any successful content operation.

It can help your colleagues, you, and/or your employees to structure their days and weeks, and also put into place expectations and responsibilities. This can be immensely helpful if you are worried about people skipping vital behind-the-scenes functions, such as, as you will see below, analytics.

If you remember the end of the Gawker saga, you will likely point to the Hulk Hogan lawsuit as its literal demise. This is true. And absent Peter Thiel’s war on Gawker Media, it may have survived. But an incident that preceded it demonstrated the issues it was confronting over exactly what it should continue to be. A Gawker post that was seemingly true (has not been disproven) about a media professional being blackmailed met immediate opprobrium and criticism.

While I make no claims to know what documentation and processes Gawker had in its twilight years, the amount of public debriefing about that incident featured more than one at-the-time Gawker (and former ones) employee claiming that the piece was exactly (almost literally) the type of content they were urged to do by Gawker founder Nick Denton. And, indeed, it’s the type of story he might have approved of years before, but his thinking had changed. That thinking was not clear to the staff.

Now, Gawker was clearly the type of publication that consistently tested the limits of censorship, taste, and appropriateness. It is incredibly unlikely any branded content operation would encounter the same problems, and, still very unlikely any editorial operation would either (unless it is trying to emulate Gawker’s truthtelling).

But you need for every member of the operation to understand their roles and the roles of the content they are producing. If you have partners you need to mention, that should be documented.

If there are topics that are off-limits, those need to be documented. If there’s a

What documentation do I need?

The most important is the all-encompassing brand rules and voice guide. You may call it something else, but you should have everything one needs to know in one document. It will be long, but it needs to be delivered on every employee’s first day. They should do nothing before they read it and read it twice. You should strongly consider a quiz that they must score 100% before they can do anything live. Topics to include:

Mission Statement
Do’s and Don’ts
Types of content and best examples
FAQ
Versioning*

* By versioning, I mean some documentation of things that have been changed, or used to be. People will make mistakes and someone who has been there for a long time might revert to policies since changed. Giving that context will make it easier for a new employee to avoid those pitfalls and for the entire organization to understand what has been changed and why.

You should do two things with this documentation. 1) bold the most important points in it (the key takeaways, as it were) and encourage employees to further “highlight” them.

Secondarily, include these takeaways in a one-sheeter that should be visible and locatable on their desks at any moment in time. Employees should be encouraged to tell management if there are points in the main document that should be included there, and you should aim to revise the copy at least once a quarter.

You may require other documentation, but this is the key one that every organization should prioritize.

How to Come to an Understanding for a Content Marketing Strategy

This is part of a series of articles entitled “A Definitive Guide to Content Marketing”. Read the whole series here.

Understanding in a word is: “what?” In a few more words: “what is this grand experiment about?” Imaging the standard elevator pitch helps. How would you describe what your brand is about in under 10 seconds?

Try to sketch out your idea of a perfect piece of content. What does it look like? What does it entail?

What does the publication look like in five years?

The below advice will be helpful regardless of whether you are a one-person operation or part of a small group.

Getting your hands around the scope of your content operations is a sweat-inducing process, but it is also highly important. Once you’ve decided you are going to start up the thing *

The best piece of advice I have is to try to have a simple idea in mind before you start brainstorming all of the different ways you’ll put it to life.

For a brief example, I started this content series by stating, simply, that I wanted to walk through the steps of how to devise content strategy. The brainstorming that followed was what subject matters were required and how I wanted to display them (short paragraphs linked to a longer, stand-alone article that could live on its own.

This also applies to any situation where you’ve been hired to take on ownership of an existing content brand or organization. You should still do an understanding exercise, even if you are not being asked to overhaul the existing structure. You, as the leader, must have your own understanding.

All stakeholders should share the understanding; that way, there is less confusion about any particular piece of content or general strategy.

Take the Wirecutter, for example. My understanding is a review company that simplifies the path to purchase by only suggesting the best products. Compare it to other sites that commit to writing about new products, whether they are good enough to recommend or not.

So The Wirecutter understanding is an unbiased company that makes it easy to buy the best product. Once they knew that, they could start brainstorming how to bring it to life.

Mattress company Casper’s publication, Van Winkle’s tagline doubles as a fine understanding: “Exploring the science, culture and curiosities of sleep.”

Your initial understanding may not always be something that pithy and publishable, but it usually eventually translates into a tagline or mission statement.

 

How You Can Work in Content Marketing

This is part of a series of articles entitled “A Definitive Guide to Content Marketing”. See the whole series here.

Either you are starting something up alone or in a group, or you’ve been hired to run or help a content operation. Before you get into any of it, know this: it’s hard. It’s very hard. Your audience will be fickle, its attention scattered across thousands of platforms, and traditional competitors and new upstarts will be trying to outflank you. Or they may ignore you, which means you’re not bothering them. I’d prefer the former.

You will need to be creative, but that is not the most important aspect of the job. Above all, you need to be disciplined, organized, and consistent. Creativity comes later.

If you are working with other people, you will need to be a leader and a follower. So much of writing is understanding the audience and what they want and need. It’s impossible for any one person to know that perfectly, so that’s why content teams need to be collaborative.

If you are wondering if this is a job for you, a few ways to determine are listed below. Even if you’re in the field, the below can help you recalibrate.

If any of the below bullets describe you, you’re ready for a job in content.

  • You are intrigued in how things work and process
  • You like systems and structure
  • You enjoy deep research
  • You can manage stakeholder expectations
  • You are constantly prepared to receive feedback.*
  • You want to know what performed well and what did not and try to understand why
  • You can take direction (very few content professionals exist without an editor; for good reason, everyone needs one)
  • You enjoy marshaling your thoughts into a creative output, preserved for all time (or as long as the hosting or the company lasts)

* A note about content feedback. In many jobs, something either works or it doesn’t. If you are making a chemical compound and a reaction doesn’t occur, there is a specific reason. If you are an athlete and your shot isn’t going down, there are concrete ways to fix it. In writing, the feedback is often abstract. You can always argue away listening to it. But more times than not, the feedback is a better approach than what you did. 

As you can see, this is a job for organized people. You need to manage the various inputs (research, interviews, assets) and outputs (published pieces of content) that will come in a steady stream.

It also requires individuals to have strong constitutions. Regardless of whether you work in editorial or branded content, there is often a tension between what your readers want and what your bosses want to be published. It rarely aligns perfectly, so you will have to defend your work in uncomfortable situations.

It is also a job for the naturally curious. If you are interested in learning more about a variety of subjects, then content may be the job for you.

A Definitive Guide to Content Marketing

INTRODUCTION

Content has become one of the most powerful tools in a modern corporation’s arsenal. So much so, that it has created a high-demand marketplace for content strategy specialists and agencies.

But where do you begin? In a proactive gesture to demonstrate my own thinking and a gesture to those who are otherwise contemplating content marketing, I am drafting a content philosophy that can help both brands and publications alike.

This is an uber article – let’s call it a living listicle – which will link out to longer pieces on each topic as I flesh them out further (these in-depth articles will be highlighted with a more below each section. I purposefully did not number each section because the marketplace is changing and the order of considerations might follow. But this is the order that makes sense in my brain.


YOU

Either you are starting something up alone or in a group, or you’ve been hired to run or help a content operation. Before you get into any of it, know this: it’s hard. It’s very hard. Your audience will be fickle, its attention scattered across thousands of platforms, and traditional competitors and new upstarts will be trying to outflank you. Or they may ignore you, which means you’re not bothering them. I’d prefer the former.

The best thing you can do is decide to go no further. But if you’re a brazen fool, read on.

read more


UNDERSTANDING

In a word: what? In a few more words: what is this grand experiment about? Imaging the standard elevator pitch helps. How would you describe what you’re about in under 10 seconds?

Try to sketch out your idea of a perfect piece of content. What does it look like? What does it entail?

What does the publication look like in five years?

The below advice will be helpful regardless of whether you are a one-person operation or part of a small group.

read more


DISCOVERY

Start with building blocks. Things you want to cover, sketch a logo, what would your Facebook page look like, how would you handle Q&As, who would be your biggest get for a live event. What would a theme week look like? Use a digital app like Trello, or stick things up in a conference room.

Keep detailed notes from this session, but don’t expect to figure it all out. Make a goal of having three universal themes answered.

read more


BREADTH

Shallow? Deep? There is no wrong answer, but try to get it right. If you are, say, one of the thousands of gold-rush mattress blogs (caveat emptor), you will need to be super deep on the subject of bedding. If you are covering all of modern history, you’re likely to start shallow (while retaining the option of going deeper on specific topics). By topics, I mean war. You’re probably writing about war.

The work above will help you understand which direction you are looking to take this. A simple calculus is whether or not the list of subject matter you could cover – the topics that fall under your umbrellas – is long or short. Let that guide you.



MEDIUMS

Look, I know it’s super cool to pivot to video these days – and you’ll have ample time to do that in the future – but you need to know what you and your brand/publication are good at and what you’re not. You must decide: what’s necessary? If you have subject matter that is super-visual, then it’s worth the video investment. Doing audio-only might not be as smart. You can trick or convince yourself into doing any and everything. Much harder to make the more narrowly focused decision.


MVP

We live in an agile world. The likes of Talk Magazine will never be seen again. You (and the marketplace) do not have the time to launch the final project. You get something live and you hang a shingle. So, you’ve mapped out what you want the fully-formed operation to look like. But what’s the first step? A newsletter? A video series? Polls on Twitter? The only way to start is to start.


PERSONNEL

I admit I could devote 100,000 characters to this section and leave you more confused than when you started. In short, decisions for this section should be determined above (yes, I know I have purposefully not numbered sections).

I would break personnel down into two categories. What do you need to launch? Maybe you only need yourself and some training.

And then map out the people or skillsets you will need for the second phase of the project. Do you need jack-of-all-trade generalists or hyper-expert specialists? Every organization has different requirements.

If you are bringing people on board, you should involve them in the final decision process. Show them your notes and work with them to refine so they buy into the final structure and assignments.




CONTENT CALENDAR

Nothing dooms a new publication more than lack of organization. If you think you will wake up every morning bursting with inspiration, well, you would be the first person in history to accomplish that. Content is a slog and ideas can wane, so you should prepare as much as possible. Always have a bank of completed articles and story ideas for when the well has run dry.


TAXONOMY

While web design is important, what keeps most people actively engaged on your site is a clean taxonomy. Simply put, you should have well-thought-out tagging and categorization strategy. Remember all of the stuff you jotted down during your understanding period? Try to organize those things into buckets and create a tagging guide. This will help you build out sections and archives.


TONE

How do you want your content to feel? Is it playful? A good thought experiment is imaging a reader of yours discussing your publication with a friend. This friend may say something akin to: “Oh yeah, what’s so good about it?”

While you may assume they will discuss the subject matter, think about any time you’ve answered such a question. You’re more than likely to respond by saying – “It’s really interesting… or informative… or funny… or introspective.” The content is easy enough to understand; the tone is what sets you apart from everyone else discussing those subjects.


DOCUMENTATION

The easiest thing to do is often the thing never done. Everything discussed above should be documented somewhere accessible. And documented in a sensible format. Why don’t people document? They tell themselves it will either make people inefficient in their jobs or that no one will read it.

But documentation is not just about printing out reams of paper or setting up a wiki. It’s a living functionality. Documentation has versions. It requires discussions. It involves reminders. Documentation is the engineering of any successful content operation.

It can help your colleagues, you, and/or your employees to structure their days and weeks, and also put into place expectations and responsibilities. This can be immensely helpful if you are worried about people skipping vital behind-the-scenes functions, such as, as you will see below, analytics.

more




ANALYTICS

Much like documentation, you can convince yourself that no one will check the analytics, so why bother? Well, for one, you can’t retrieve historical data without putting the tracking in place. So you’re betting that your boss or your boss’ boss, or the head turtle in charge will never want to know how any historic article performed.

And, ultimately, what’s the point of creating content if you have no idea whether it’s doing its job or not?

Build into the documentation responsibilities for analytics to ensure someone can speak credibly at any time.


PLANNING

Now the real work begins. You have started work (either alone or with a team) and content proceeds apace. How are you ensuring you are staying on top of everything? Documentation helps. Analytics tell you the story of success. But who is driving future strategy? Who is keeping on top of third-party apps, and industry trends?

The first month should be focused on execution the launch plan. But do not wait too long until you convene all stakeholders to map out what the next 60-90-180-180,000 days hold for your new product.

This is a living document. There will be additions and (hopefully few) subtractions. I will do my best to minimize the latter. Like what you read? You can excerpt it on your blog or site, but do not copy the entire work. Can’t believe I have to say that in Twenty Nineteen. Looking to pick my brain? You can hire me to do workshops, proposals, or run your content operations. Contact me here

-30- for now….