Create content by collaboration not by committee

Posted: May 18, 2011 in content creation
Tags: , ,
To Dispute

Committees produce content that sucks.
In his book “Corner Office”, the New York Times’ Adam Bryant interviews a bunch of CEOs and describes how they got their jobs. One of the traits of a good CEO, he says, is understanding human psychology. Specifically, CEOs who do the best jobs are the ones able to mold stars into teams. First, you have to spot the difference between a star player and team player. Then you ensure that the stars are willing and able to put the team first. The ones who can’t must go.

These team dynamics apply to writing projects, too, especially the bigger ones that cross functional lines. Creating remarkable content for successful marketing and selling involves talented individuals, “stars”, working as a team. In the end, a superior creative product emerges not by committee but by collaboration. It’s tricky to negotiate the fine line that separates the two but this is precisely what needs to happen.

The best marketing content gains and holds attention then compels some form of action by the reader. So an effective piece of content is not unlike a powerful speech. Just as a good presenter visualizes talking to a single individual instead of roomful of them, talented writers imagine they are creating a message, a letter to someone they know, vividly describing something of specific interest to that reader and asking for a response. The typical problem with marketing content is its “committee” feel. Trying to speak to everyone, it addresses no one. How does your team overcome committee-speak? How do you encourage content creation that is collaborative?

(This post appeared today in TheWriteStuff, my blog over at Write Angle Inc.)


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