Orchestrated Content: A Cross-Disciplinary Approach

Michael Barnwell   October 26, 2012

In search of a common system. (photo by jordan99mac)

Content strategists have been giving a lot of thought to their methodology these last few years, and even testing out if it’s possible to have a single methodology that all could gather behind. Given the range of problems that content strategy is asked to take on, it seems unlikely that any methodology could be adequately encompassing. Nonetheless, formulating a methodology has been an important step and an ideal subject to invite wide-ranging discussion. The barrier is low for participation, after all. Anyone who has dealt with content issues probably has something useful to add. And, besides, any methodology, even if it turns out to be highly à la carte or only loosely observed, is better than none.

What this interest in methodology signals to me is that first, the discipline has evolved enough to recognize procedural patterns, and, second, that the encouraging expansion and maturity of the discipline has brought on a corresponding need to reign in some areas of practice, and to solidify the definition of the discipline, for its own sake as well as for the sake of its role within a given organization.

In recent months, colleagues and I at Razorfish have been interested in a somewhat related effort to situate the practice and define how it gets things done. We have been looking at the discipline from a broader viewpoint, from the perspective of how content strategy abuts, intersects with, and influences other disciplines.

We have proposed an approach to content that we call Orchestrated Content. Rather than focus on how content strategists work within their own discipline, phase by phase through the duration of a project, we look at how our practice is deeply interwoven with many other practices and plot out how content strategy functions across disciplines. We embrace the inevitably porous nature of the practice and highlight its role in tying together the larger strategy of transforming businesses.

We welcome your thoughts about Orchestrated Content and look forward to hearing about your own experience in cross-disciplinary content strategy work.

2 Responses

  1. Great post! I’ve tended to label this same approach as an ‘integrated content delivery framework’ or even ‘integrated communication management’. I like the word ‘orchestrated’.

    I would also emphasise the need for a repeatable system to include content tracking and monitoring across channels. Employee engagement is a crucial part of the governance process. I was impressed by the dashboards Cisco have set up in their Social Media Listening Center: http://goo.gl/c2wtZ

  2. […] Orchestrated Content: A Cross-Disciplinary Approach(Michael Barnwell ~ Scatter/Gather Razorfish) This entry was posted in Content strategy. Bookmark the permalink. […]

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Scatter/Gather is a blog about the intersection of content strategy, pop culture and human behavior. Contributors are all practicing Content Strategists at the offices of Razorfish, an international digital design agency.

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