Brand-driven content strategy: Developing a message architecture

Room Lakeshore B-C
9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Brand-driven content strategy complements user-centered design, and this workshop will help you get up to speed on why and how to implement it. We’ll conduct a hands-on exercise to prioritize communication goals and develop a message architecture—ideal whether you maintain content for the Web, mobile apps, social media, or offline experiences.

From there, you’ll learn how to use a message architecture as the metric against which to measure content in a qualitative content audit. Then carry it into governance: We’ll explore the impact of a message architecture on editorial style guidelines and an editorial calendar—and see how that foundation can improve efficiency and client satisfaction throughout your projects. Discover how a brand-attributes card sort can help you identify potential pitfalls and points of disagreement while you improve organizational alignment through entire engagements.

Trying to manage scope creep? What about seagulling stakeholders? And what content matters most, anyhow? These questions and other challenges drive content strategy, and the business issues beyond it. What if you need to empower a team, wrangle a client, and rally everyone around a common vocabulary for your primary navigation? No matter your title, it’s time to embrace content strategy, starting with the message architecture.

Join this workshop to:

  • Learn how to establish a hierarchy of communication goals with a hands-on exercise and the right questions to ask along the way to minimize distracting, off-brand features, like the blog no one has time to update.
  • Discover how to bring brand-driven thinking through subsequent activities, like the content audit and content model.
  • Explore the impact of the message architecture on “rubber meets the road” details in style, tone, and diction.
  • Gain additional tools to keep your projects on track, on time, and on budget.

About Margot Bloomstein

Margot Bloomstein is the author of Content Strategy at Work and principal of Appropriate, Inc., an independent brand and content strategy consultancy based in Boston. She crafts brand-appropriate user experiences to help retailers, universities, and other organizations engage their audiences and project key messages through both traditional and social media.

Corporations and agencies alike turn to Margot to grow content strategy practices. Over the past 15 years, she's helped shape corporate social responsibility at Timberland, alumni relations at Tufts University, and cultural tourism in Nevada. The rogues' gallery also includes Sallie Mae, Scholastic, Fidelity, Lovehoney, Lindt and Sprüngli, and Harvard University.

A participant in the inaugural Content Strategy Consortium and featured speaker at SXSW, Margot speaks internationally about content strategy. Recent engagements include CS Forum, Content Marketing World, and HOW Design. Follow her at @mbloomstein.

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