I think quite often in higher ed, when we think of content strategy, we think of marketing. At a lot of institutions, if someone has the title “Content Strategist”, they’re probably working for a Marketing office. In fact, the question came up at #strategycar from this past Friday, “is content strategy different that integrated marketing?”

To me the answer is an unequivocal yes.

While integrated marketing makes use of content strategy, the concept of content strategy itself is much bigger than simply marketing. Everyone who is communicating needs to plan what they’re saying, how they’re saying it, who they’re saying it to, and how best to deliver their message.

Do faculty need content strategy? You betcha! Faculty need to examine their content and how they’re presenting it. Especially as new modes of communication are constantly evolving, they need to plan how they’re going to deliver their coursework most effectively. They need to understand how they and their content are interacting with their students, and assess if they’re conveying the message that they need.

Does an HR department need content strategy? Yeah, they do. Has anyone spent 2 hours looking for a Travel Reimbursement form only to find it, read the directions, and still not understand how to fill it out? Sure they could just post a bunch of policies and links, but an effective content strategy where they carefully plan out what they do say and what they don’t say, and where and how they say it?  Man that’s going to make for happier employees.

Does an application developer need content strategy? Yup. One of my primary focuses is web application development, and while the actual coding is important, what’s even more important is what does this application do? Every one I’ve ever built helps someone accomplish a task, and the only way you can help someone do that is to communicate effectively with them.

Anytime you’re communicating a message, you need content strategy. Anytime, every time.

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