PROPRIETARY CONTENT NEEDS A P.O.V – “POINT OF VALUE”
As someone who spends a lot of time creating content for corporate executives, I’m generally more comfortable voicing others’ opinions rather than my own. So it is with some hesitation that I offer my opinion and share some thoughts on how to create content that’s more valuable to organizations and their audiences (and, not coincidentally, more interesting for those of us tasked with writing the content).
Organizations large and small expend tremendous effort to fuel their “content engines” in order to drive visibility and continually engage their target audiences – be they customers, shareholders, employees, influencers, or all of the above.
Unfortunately, much of that content – whether in the form of an op-ed article, blog or LinkedIn post – is often too narrowly focused or self-serving to be of real value for the reader. In these cases, the fuel for the corporate content engine is decidedly low-octane.
To be effective as a communication tool, proprietary content must not only express a point of view, but also what I like to call a point of value. It should deliver a viable insight or encourage some constructive action that will benefit the reader in a tangible way (as illustrated by a few examples from our work for DLPR’s clients).
Provide practical advice:
- “Win or lose (or settle), the increased likelihood of an SEC enforcement action is an existential threat that hedge fund managers should take seriously.”
Alert the public to risks:
- “Corporate relocations on an Amazonian scale are few and far between – but there are thousands of much smaller projects that could be imperiled if the public and policy-makers shy away from supporting economic development deals.”
Urge a contrarian view:
- “Reinventing an enterprise isn’t just a matter of adopting the latest technologies. Companies must think differently about how to attract, develop and retain the talent needed to deliver innovation.”
Advocate for changes in public policy:
- “We strongly encourage Congress to support employer-sponsored student loan repayment benefits – to help millions of Americans realize their dreams of an affordable education.”
Of course, proprietary content is created to serve an organization’s interests (notice how I subtly mentioned DLPR a few paragraphs back). But – in order to break through the clutter of communications we all receive every day – that content also should align with the reader’s interests and needs.
The next time you’re considering whether to write or post a piece of original content, ask yourself two questions: 1) What value can the audience derive from this communication? and 2) Why is your organization uniquely able to deliver that value?
If you’ve answered these questions properly, your content will deliver compelling and credible information that will inform, educate, and yes, subtly sell. At least that’s my opinion.
By Ed Nebb, Senior Managing Director