Upcoming Events

Jan 22

SMPS National Webinar: Confessions of a Content Whisperer - Brookfield Location

Join us for our SMPS national webinar and learn how to crack the code to extracting data from your technical team.

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Jan 23

SMPS National Webinar: Confessions of a Content Whisperer - Madison Location

During this webinar, participants will learn how to: identify what your team needs to know before contributing content, identify several subject matter experts and their motivations, and outline five methods to extract content from your technical team.

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Feb 1

LEARN Together in Madison

LEARN TogetherĀ is an informal coffee break where you can meet fellow A/E/C Marketing and Business Development professionals to discuss industry trends, get feedback on challenges you are encountering, share insights and get feedback.

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Work Smarter by Reusing Content

Here’s how to be a hero when last-minute marketing requests come your way.

Reuse existing content…with just a few tweaks.

Robby Slaughter of AccelaWork Business Improvement, Indianapolis, Indiana, walked us through the process at the Sept. 19 SMPS meeting in Madison, Wisconsin.

He defined a common problem. Marketers create content that is only used once or requires serious editing before it is used again.

What’s the solution? Reuse the content by repurposing it.

Adapting “Julie & Julia”

Slaughter used the example of a blog originally written by Julie Powell. She first wrote about cooking each of the recipes in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking book. Then she wrote a book about the experience that was later turned into a movie, “Julie & Julia.”

The basic concept remained the same, but the content was adapted to match the final use.

For A/E/C firms, set yourself up for success by taking a moment to look at the big picture when you create content.

Let’s say a new high-level manager joins the firm. You’ll be writing a bio for your company intranet and perhaps external press releases.

Consider the many ways you’re going to need that bio: resumes, project sheets and other company collateral. Write versions of different lengths and get approvals all at once.

Then in the future, you can quickly access either a 100-word or 300-word bio. You won’t need to get any additional approvals.

Follow the same approach for logos. When you’re designing a new or revised logo, get every format you’re going to need during the process. Then you’re all set when an unexpected request shows up.

Consider Multiple Uses When Saving Files

How do you save presentations? You may save by year and event. Perhaps you also should set up a shortcut to another relevant file.

Whatever the workflow, make sure you can easily find that presentation a few years down the road. Perhaps you can repurpose the same information for a different audience.

Save your documents with the future in mind. That way, your next presentation, speech or press release may only need a few edits to get it ready to go.

Keep the basic info, change the dates and perhaps add a new quote. You’re done.

With project photos, you can follow the same process. When filing, list numerous keywords that describe the photos so you can find them for different uses. For one proposal, you may need the exterior shot of the building, while the interior design is applicable for another proposal.

As the years go by and personnel change, proper filing will speed up project execution.

Think Beyond the Project

I know that it’s easy to get caught up in hitting the next deadline. Slaughter’s talk convinced me to take a few extra moments to think about how I save documents that I’ll probably need in the future.

I now have a file for my general biographical information. I can start with that information and tweak it, as needed, for each project. I want to streamline the process as much as possible.

The speaker encouraged the audience to build workflows designed to free content from being tied to a moment, demographic or audience. This upfront work will help relieve your stress when deadlines strike.

Written by guest blogger Leslie Blaize, CPSM, owner of Blaize Communications, Madison, Wisconsin, a writing business specializing in the A/E/C industry.

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