Handing over strategic documents to a client’s content producers and calling my work done is not my favourite way to work. It feels akin, I imagine, to a mother handing her child over to a nanny or sending him off for the first time to school. How will he fair in their care? Will he end up more high-street than high-class?
The very best strategic concepts are nothing if they’re not implemented well.
My sense of success on a project lies not in sign-off of a strategy but in how well the strategy is implemented, in how well it is continually implemented, and in how successful it is in achieving its goals.
A strategic document* is not only there to direct, it’s there to deliver a set of creative and emotive concepts that a content producer will be specifically inspired (not just inspired, but inspired to create specific stuff) so that they in turn may appropriately inspire. It’s an obscure, Chinese-whispers process.
It’s a wonder, to me, but this is what we as Content Strategists, using our own content wikka, try to do.
The success of my work hinges on how well-trained, inspired, caring, skilled and possessed of time the content producers are and whether they get what we’re aiming via content to do i.e. what manipulation we’re seeking to achieve. Manipulation: it’s what all communication sets out to do.
I don’t hire or fire content producers, it’s never my place on the job. It’s the ability to turn so-so producers into ‘mojo’ producers that makes a really, really good Content Strategist. It’s the ability to inspire and to galvanise, as a project consultant and in a short amount of time, that is a truly valuable skill. It’s a rare skill too and it’s something I’m fixedly working to achieve.
*I rarely deliver documents these days working much more in prototype, visual and short form.