As communicators, we tend to put our focus on the impact of our content. But what if it is time to shift our gaze to another aspect of communication? Day 2 of SPECTRA, hosted by Reputation Today, brought it Jonathan Adashek, chief communications officer at IBM. Adashek presented a case to focus on content strategy and the impact it has on communicating purpose. Vasundhara Mudgal, head of communication of Spotify India, joined the conversation to anchor the Q&A portion. With the experience from IBM, Adashek presents an argument that highlights how the content strategy should focus on firstly, understanding the community of one’s company; secondly, conveyed effectively to the audience; thirdly, placing purpose in the centre of your content strategy.
Understand the business
Each industry comes with its own set of growth opportunities, when it came Adashek presented the concept of the hybrid cloud market as the direction for the growth of IBM. Hybrid cloud is the overarching goal, and comprehensive enough to be broken into stages. Adashek highlights the importance of understanding the community of one’s company and the growth opportunities that it presents. On the flip side, the company needs to understand what about their community interests the consumer. The importance of tailoring the message of the company to intrigue the audience and send the message. In doing so Adashek broke down IBM’s content strategy into; emphasise fact-based benefits, recognise how it affects different cohorts, and identify an effective message to target them.
Tackling media fronts
Empath, a word that needs to be more present in our vocabulary especially when delivering content. People’s real success stories need to be at the forefront of company content. Content also needs to be new and unique. Instead of telling the audience of the company’s success, one should be able to show it. Adashek highlights the importance of including the client and end-user to demonstrate their value. How the company’s purpose and narrative should be aligned with the content, policies, and programs present in the company. Adashek stresses the importance of covering content on all fronts. It is important to understand the pros and cons of each media channel and use it to one’s advantage.
Adashek ventures into doing more than what is the bare minimum and understands how your purpose can benefit the community around you “Strive to be hyper-aware of the external environment”. Adashek presented a series of examples in relations to IBM, whose mission is to develop technology for good. A stance IBM took was to promote the usage of artificial intelligence (AI) for good. IBM wanted technology that they produced to serve as a problem solver for societal issues, furthermore, allowing society to move forward in their next stage of growth. Along with this, there is a need to find people that are passionate about the issue so that they can sell the purpose and mission of the company.
On to the future
We focus on content, and now Jonathan Adashek has aided in shifting attention on how to get the message out there. Content strategy is most effective through understanding your business, covering your media, and purpose-focused strategy. The combination of the three aids towards a strong message. The pandemic has been an obstacle for content strategy; however, the long-term strategy remains the same. Variables such as the pandemic have changed the strategy it was delivered in and adapted to the environment that people connect to the best. It is also important to Companies not only have to focus on their brand, but also where their company is in the business. No matter what obstacle may come your way, if the content strategy is strong, the message will fulfil its purpose.
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