Thursday, April 24, 2014

Campaign or Content Brief

There are two ways to look at a communications brief:

1) Develop a campaign concept 
2) Create 'campaign-able' content

A campaign approach is single minded and targeted. All materials produced fit together under a theme, style and narrative. Reinforcing key messages in a relevant conceptual framework. This is how most communications briefs are approached. 

Here's the thing about always approaching communication briefs as a campaign - content repurposing is often limited by the boundaries set in a campaign approach. So while it is recognised that a lot of content exists within organisations it is hard to stretch across media channels. A lot of one-off communications pieces exist that could be utilised 'if only'. 

In a multi-media age, a fresh approach to communications briefing where campaign-able rather than campaign is the 'big idea', can generate content with a purpose to repurpose.
This requires a flexible approach to production and creative thinking to dial up messaging for a specific audiences.

As corporate messaging becomes more responsive, I feel that communicators need to shift their thinking to be more like direct marketers in many ways.  This is a big mindset change. Direct marketers trial audience response and use these learnings to tweak content to optimise impact by media, segment and behaviour. They also publish the same or similar content pieces more than once to reach a wider audience, as they recognise that an audience base grows and timing impacts our responsiveness.

This is where a 'campaign-able' content approach comes into play. Content can be integrated into communications programs, it can be re-run with a new context, it can be shared, commented on, and reworked to increase cut through over time. It becomes content rather than campaign materials, and is therefore an asset that can be leveraged over time.

Here are some suggested asks to place into an internal or external communication brief to generate a content approach:

  • Demonstrate how the content could work in various media layouts, events and publication styles
  • Allow for customised changes in the creative production that can be done in a timely and cost effective way
  • Consider what format the concept would take if peer to peer sharing was an objective
  • Explain how the content produced could be repurposed? Which audiences, where and how?

Content may be king, however you don't want it to have a short rule in a small closed off kingdom.

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