Content – what’s it all about? What is so special about content? It’s only words...
by Chris Moran
Content is a strange word – I looked it up in the dictionary: happy, calm, tranquil, peaceful, and satisfying – then I realized I was on the wrong page. I Googled™ “Head of Content” and that was also a mistake, because there were about 7,600,000,000 results. So, I needed to work out the who/what/where/when and why of it in order to get things straight in my mind.
The role of the Head of Content revolves mostly around maintaining oversight of the activities of all text content produced by an agency - working closely with all the teams in the creation of excellent day to day experiences for our clients – and, of course, for ourselves.
It’s not just about skill-sets in a specific language – which is a huge subject in itself in this jargon-laden world - in this line of business we also have to be totally in tune with today’s technology, tomorrow’s technological advancements, and current affairs, and ensure that everyone involved in any kind of content delivery is up to date for the production of relevant and relatable content according to the clients’ brief.
Content creation is all about the development and optimization of words, phrases, sentences, structure and nuance, and wrapping it up in cultural awareness, ensuring that narratives and messages directly support the strategies and editorial decisions that have been formulated by the guys on the client-interfacing front line. It’s all about having a grasp on the development and management of the business’s brand standards, tone, style and expression of the business’s corporate identity.
We lead and inspire the development of first-class content along with other production elements in order to ensure the optimal delivery of content to target audiences across multiple channels, integrated and aligned to support business objectives.
But above all, this is all about team-work. Client services personnel are the gate-keepers who have to understand client briefs and be able to translate them properly and precisely to the content creators. Content creators are the material people who contribute genuine value to an account on behalf of the client. They must be able to read between the lines and ask the right questions about the interpretations of those briefs and the thinking behind them (tone, style, language, structure and vocabulary). They must know the difference between lightweight fluff, jargon, technical lingo and overly verbose factual content – and find the thin line, or sine wave, that traverses them, to be linguistically adventurous by smoothing out the bumps in the content and soothing away the fears of clients who may be locked into a style and tone of declining relevance in today’s connected world.
This kind of collective cognisance (analysis of needs, synonyms, antonyms, idiomatic expressions, awareness, perception, notice, knowledge, thought, and consciousness) can only be achieved by mutual cooperation: regular brain-storming, collaboration and communication, from day one; developing faith in your colleagues while earning the trust of your clients.
To some people, this is just a matter of words and their usage, but to others, words are just the beginning of a great linguistic journey, and how they are used decides the destiny of its readers.
"Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder." -Rumi