content creation

Many years ago, I served on focus groups evaluating everything from knee braces and showerheads to ice cream and pasta sauce. It was clear during introductions that we each represented a different consumer. No surprise, we produced a wide range of responses. Sometimes the room remained divided; other instances, a consensus formed as we collectively considered all factors. I thought of those sessions when reading about the latest PR debacle at Google. The search giant...

Who’s Providing Feedback on Your Content Marketing?

Most of us juggle multiple projects or manage many people in a day’s work. As a result, some projects fall by the wayside to make more room to complete others. Priorities may be based on deadlines or impact. Eventually, though, older must-do projects move back to the forefront. How, though, do you muster the enthusiasm, energy and effort to awaken dormant ideas and turn cold notes into hot copy or imagery? I should politely nod...

8 Tips to Warm Up a Cold Project

Recommendations for What to Read, Watch and Listen to [LISTEN, OR READ] Social Media and the Global War for Public Opinion Two think tankers, P.W. Singer, a strategist at New America, consultant for the U.S. military and intelligence community and book author, partnered with Emerson T. Brooking, a research fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations who writes about conflict and social media, to co-write a new book, “LikeWar: The Weaponization of Social Media.” The...

Social Media Murkiness, Corporate Carrots and Parenthood Pitfalls

Thanks to a flood of contract writers and the rise of content mills, the commerce of writing is taking a huge economic hit. So are writers who depend on their craft to earn a living. That’s why freelance writers need a contract. Statements of work or author agreements —or whatever such  contracts are  called—are designed to clearly explain expectations and publishing rights. Most writers understand the deliverables and deadlines. It’s the publishing rights that can...

Why Writers Need a Contract

“You can’t use an image without permission from the creator of the work (and, almost always, a forthcoming payment).” I’ve contracted with creatives working as independent contractors over the course of my career, and, with good reason, I know and respect this fact. I’ve needed to restate this case numerous times to others within organizations in order to legally protect companies, clients and myself. Here’s the deal with image makers: Unless the work that’s generated by...

Imagery: Give Credit (And Payment) Where It’s Due

Ever since a friend brought it to my attention, I’ve noticed I misuse the word perfect frequently, at least in speech. I say it when I find a mutual time to talk with someone. When I sign off on instructions. When I’m offered fresh fruit in lieu of bacon for brunch. The one place I rarely use it: my own work product. Perfect should not be the goal “Perfect” may be my current catch phrase,...

Not So Perfect: Learning to Let Go of an Elusive Goal

Solving today’s business challenges with products and services takes innovative thinking. Letting the world know about your solutions in highly competitive environments takes innovative thinking too. But are innovative thinkers embedded into your company’s product development and marketing ecosystem? If they are, kudos to you for creating an environment that allows divergent interpretations to problems. Your reward will be increased business. And if imaginative people are not seated at your conference table, you are doomed...

The Importance of Fostering Creativity

If you’re spending the majority of your resources writing audacious advertising claims to promote your brand, products and services, then stop. In the age of self-educating customers, you need to be offering high-quality content that’s educational, thoughtful and entertaining. Here’s six tips on how to redirect your marketing efforts for effective results. 1. Know thy brand strategy. Your company’s ultimate purpose for existing (beyond making money) and your target customer are at the core of...

Six Tips to Make Your Content Educational, Thoughtful, Entertaining and Effective

I have a friend who routinely keeps her cars in great condition even after they surpass the 200,000-, 300,000- and, once, 400,00-mileage mark. She swears the key to her automobile longevity is maintenance. She routinely gets tune-ups and oil changes on a set schedule – even when a manufacturer’s recommendation seems excessive. A car isn’t the same as content marketing, but they do have something in common: both need routine maintenance to keep working as...

Is Your Content in Need of a Tune-Up?

Fueled with a good idea, commitment and fortitude, it is possible to create new and successful opportunities for yourself and others at any stage of your life or career, even in the face of those crippling curve balls life inevitably throws at you. The ability to move quickly when confronted with challenges is more manageable when you’re an experienced problem-solver—a skill that’s honed over toil and time. In the last days of 2017, I had...

Making Lemonade … and Content Worth Reading