There’s Something to This “Content Strategy” Stuff…

…and that’s why there are courses teaching it. Content strategy is a thoughtfully-considered, measurable effort to use stories, information, and media to communicate your company or organization’s goals.

I’ve just received certification in “Content Strategy for Professionals” through a five-course Northwestern University program on Coursera. The topics covered included: engaging audiences; managing content; expanding your content’s reach; and ensuring your content’s impact.

While I have been creating and implementing engaging content for my clients for years now, this course offered additional tools and tactics that I’m now able to use in my work. If you would like to discuss building an effective content strategy, please contact me.

This is “Content Marketing.” It’s also a magazine.

content marketingContent marketing is a buzzword that has commanded the limelight over the past year, and brands in every industry are realizing the ROI in creating valuable assets—such as articles, videos, webinars, and white papers—as marketing tools to attract and retain customers.

A less obvious version of content marketing are magazines created by brands to tell their story within a broader themed context. You may also know it by the name “custom publishing.” If you’ve ever picked up the in-flight magazine on an airplane, or thumbed through your college alumni magazine, you’ve seen this version of content marketing.


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Telling a trade show’s story through exhibitor profiles

My favorite part of writing the copy for the pre-show planner for NY NOW™, the Market for Home + Lifestyle (formerly the New York International Gift Fair®), was profiling show exhibitors; in this case, a select group of innovative designers and makers from companies like Alchemy Goods, Strand Design, Matouk, and Hand in Hand.

Sharon and Ted Burdett, Strand Design
Sharon and Ted Burdett, Strand Design

“Everyone should work with their spouse. At least, that’s what Sharon and Ted Burdett think, and it works well for them. In 2009, they left their respective design careers to open Strand Design in their home town of Chicago. From their studio in the West Loop, they provide product design services for clients, but also craft objects, by hand, from sustainably sourced and locally manufactured materials.”

For the past two years, I’ve been creating the written content for this digest-format print piece, mailed to more than 90,000 registered and prospective attendees – mainly retailers and interior designers – of this semi-annual trade show.

Signage and Display Copywriting

So often, I send copy off to a client in a Word document, never to be seen again. It was gratifying to see the copy I wrote for these displays in real life at the NY NOW home and lifestyle trade show this week! This exhibit featured fine handmade craft from global artisans who were participating in Artisan Resource ™, a one-of-a-kind market offering U.S.-based importers, direct import retailers and wholesalers the opportunity to meet with international artisanal producers.

Artisan Resource signage

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Call Me “Columnist!”

HVWineMag-Summer2013-CoverA long-standing professional goal of mine has been to write a column. What surprised me is where the opportunity ultimately presented itself — Hudson Valley Wine magazine.  Wine is not a specialty of mine, and I’m as “casual” a wine drinker as you can get. However, I do love to tell stories of the people and places of the Hudson Valley, and this column lets me do that. In “Talking Terroir,” I’ll interview my region’s tastemakers, trendsetters, culinary champions and wine pros to find out what they’re drinking now, and get their take on the area’s wine scene.

You can read my first column from the spring 2013 issue here.

A Corporate Blog Case Study: NYIGF

NYIGFWhen the New York International Gift Fair® (NYIGF), one of the nation’s largest trade shows for the gift, home and lifestyle industry, wanted to establish its preeminence as a sourcing destination for design-driven products, it launched a blog. And asked me to write it. For the past year, I’ve contributed weekly posts on 100 Days of Design, and I’ve completely enjoyed it!

Each week, the blog focuses on a different product category, such as handmade craft, home décor, juvenile resources, and personal accessories. Three superlative products offered by NYIGF exhibiting companies are highlighted with copy and images.

Attention is also given to New York City attractions, restaurants, and stores which fit these categories, because the city is part of the appeal which draws 35,000 buyers from across the globe to this trade show.

This blog is promoted through email to all registered and prospective NYIGF attendees, as well as on the show’s facebook page and Twitter feed. It serves as a weekly marketing tool to sell the show, build attendance, promote its exhibitors, and encourage conversation. And yes, in addition to all that, it does what it intended to do: support the event’s standing as a design-driven market.

Some of my favorite posts include:

Making a Case for “Made in the USA”

On-Trend Textiles

Seeing Green

If you are thinking about how a blog can set your business apart, let me help you craft your message.

John Robshaw
Abaca Pillows by NYIGF exhibitor John Robshaw

You’re Invited to Attend My Travel Blogger Seminar at the ASJA Conference

I’m excited to share that I will be producing and moderating a four-person panel seminar at the 42nd Annual ASJA (American Society of Journalists and Authors) conference, April 25-27, 2013.

The session, tentatively titled “So You Want to Be a…Travel Blogger?” will introduce writers to alternative travel blogging business models which can generate supplemental revenue. Professional bloggers will share how they have created various revenue streams, i.e. blog ads, sponsorships, brand ambassadorships, social media consulting, etc.

I hope to see you there! For more information about attending the 2013 ASJA Conference, click here.