Category Archives: Content strategy

Content Strategy Recommendations for Charities and other Nonprofits

content strategy session for charities
I was recently asked to deliver a content strategy workshop for a gathering of small charities to help them ‘Create Amazing Content’ with limited resource. Building the workshop required quite a bit of research and was a fantastic opportunity to explore some of the challenges faced by the sector in, not only creating effective websites, but also persuading audiences to take a specific action. I thought I’d highlight some of the articles I’d read to build the workshop – there really is some brilliant work being done out there by various charity digital teams. I salute you all.
 
My research into the charity sector soon became a study of the art of persuasion, how we can use content to influence and activate a passive audience. There are loads of great articles online about persuasion but I found the article by CopyBlogger and Hillary Skeffington of particular interest.
 
I also found the notion of demonstrating impact pretty central to your purpose as a charity. This might sound obvious, but I found many charity websites ‘explained the need’ (i.e. why you should donate) but then forgot to spell out the impact they were making. I must then absolutely recommend this article by Paull Young from Charity:Water. Read the article and then explore their website – loads of great examples of best practice there.
 
Staying with Charity:Water there was also this article looking at how Charity:Water value trust – an important commodity in our world of FAKE NEWS. 
 
Lastly, here’s some useful resources for any nonprofit organisation looking to make improvements to their digital offering. From SEO to various case studies, I hope these help anyone researching into this sector.
 

So there you have it, a brief skim through some of the charity content strategy articles I found over the past few weeks. Let me know if you have other resources you’d like to share in the comments below!

Talking About LBC, Opinion and Content Experimentation

I’m pleased to say this year we’ve been invited by those wonderful folk at Newsrewired to talk about audio ‘shareability’. I always love attending this event, it’s a great chance to network and gauge what we’re generally thinking about as Journalists across a whole range of topics.

In the podcast I talk about why opinion is central to LBC and how we format choice moments to give them their best viral potential.

I look forward to seeing everyone in July.

Publishing The We The Unicorns Awards on Twitter Periscope

We The Unicorns Awards

Last Thursday we were proud to broadcast our very first end of year YouTuber awards for We The Unicorns live from Twitter HQ in London. The event was initially launched back in November with a number of categories we felt offered something original by supporting the rising stars and rebels from across the year. All in all, I was blown away by the sheer volume of votes we eventually received (over 48k in total)  – and the support from everyone involved (fans and creators alike) was simply amazing.

As I mentioned above, we streamed it from Twitter HQ via Periscope and I’ve embedded it below in all its glory. Well done to the whole team behind this and to everyone who voted!

We The Unicorns Awards We The Unicorns Awards We The Unicorns Awards We The Unicorns Awards

What We Did To Hit One Million Facebook Likes On Classic FM

classic fm david cameron

As the new year is rapidly approaching, I thought I’d fire off a series of short posts covering some of my personal highlights taken from the various brands across the year. I’m starting with Classic FM not only because it’s an amazing brand, but because I’ve just had a ping from its Social Media Editor saying that they’ve just reached one million likes on Facebook.

Here is said editor looking extremely chuffed, as he should do because this really is a fantastic achievement.

But what drove that engagement? Well, I thought it might be insightful to take a look at a short selection of popular posts from 2016 to give you a flavour of what we do. So here goes..

A selection of highlights has to start with our ‘David Cameron’ moment from September. This was all down to an editor who was watching Cameron’s speech and noticed he was humming a melody as he walked back into No.10. The rest was, indeed, history.

classic fm david cameron

This piece was successful for a number of reasons – a quick turnaround from the editorial team, the shareability of the idea and the brilliant response from the Classic FM social community as a result. This all resulted in some fantastic press coverage throughout the week that followed as pundits tried to work out the significance of the melody.

In addition to news reaction, we also post topics that we know we inspire debate across all our platforms. You can see how the topic below, for instance, could create a fantastic discussion on air as well as online.

The joy of learning to play an instrument is also a popular topic – and one I can fully sympathise with now that I’m trying to get my own children to DO THEIR BLOODY PIANO PRACTICE!

OK OK, deep breath…

Here’s another example, this time an adorable moment captured between mother and child shared with us from the classical music community.

And lastly, and as Kyle mentioned above, we’ve also had some very popular posts featuring cats…

So there you have it, just a little insight into how we hit that one million figure. Why not like us on Facebook to see what we’re publishing every day?

The Capital Jingle Bell Ball 2016 Content Strategy. Includes Kittens.

Capital Jingle Bell Ball 2016 Kittens

Every year we host Capital’s Jingle Bell Ball at London’s O2 – a fantastic weekend of music where fans can celebrate the best artists and tracks of the year in an amazing venue. Covering an event like this is a true privilege as it’s a great chance to meet fans, find out what they’re listening to and learn about what’s important to them.

What’s also important is that we took the decision years ago to make the Jingle Bell Ball a true digital experience. That means, that wherever you are in the UK, if not the world, you’ll be able to experience the event as if you were at the O2 itself.

That doesn’t mean ‘just’ filming the artists on stage and conducting behind the scenes interviews* – it means thinking very carefully about what platforms our digital audience are currently on and delivering formats that excite, engage and get them coming back for more.

And that means cats. Lots of them.

Here’s a short overview of what you can expect from our digital coverage in the next 48 hours:

  • Radio coverage (naturally) across FM and digital
  • Capital TV dedicated coverage
  • Highlights of the best on stage performances and back stage interviews (video on demand)
  • Exclusive Facebook Live interviews with all the artists (and kittens)
  • Live blog coverage – a great single location to see all the action as it happens
  • Snapchat coverage incl. exclusive Snapchat filters
  • Live Instagram Video stories
  • Dedicated content for social media – we believe with a passion that we should be entertaining you in your space, so our social media team will be creating the funniest and informative memes and updates they can.

So what’s the best thing about all this coverage? The fact that it’s all happening live – with all sections of the business (radio, tv, digital, marketing, pr, events, commercial) working together to make sure this is the best experience possible for YOU.

So here goes. Another fantastic Jingle Bell Ball is about to happen. I’ll post some highlights when I can!

*I say ‘just’ but shooting, editing and distributing video is a massive part of our operation. Adding this now before the Head of Video decapitates me.

Content Strategy Links of the Week, December 22

You know the drill by now folks. Here’s my best reads from the last week or so. Enjoy and have a fantastic Christmas and New Year. See you all in 2015!

Bad community is worse than no community
“By coupling a format that encourages intimacy with a network design that encourages out-of-context amplification, Twitter has evolved into something fundamentally volatile. It’s fun, fast and powerful, but remains highly risky for anything approaching honest conversation, or even satire.”

Consumer-aware, context-aware
“Smart news organizations know that in 2015, the value of our attention will continue to eclipse the value of our clicks. The best way to harness attention in the digital ecosystem is to service the consumer’s needs rather than simply repackaging content to fit the form factor of her various devices. A deeply engaged consumer is easier to monetize. She is a good ambassador for the news organization. And, ostensibly, she’s a better informed citizen.”

The news mixtape
“If the rise of podcasts and newsletters has taught us anything this year, it’s that there’s value in consuming bundled content.

The rise of the jacktivist
“…news outlets will have to do more than merely report what’s going on. Journalists will have the added responsibility of giving people a pathway to act, to improve their lives and the lives of others.

Again, I understand this may seem anathema to some, but people today need more than headlines and stories. They need more than data, visuals, and explanations. They need more than journalism. They need an empathy-driven service to improve their lives, their communities, and our world.”

16 reasons why this research will change how you look at news consumption | Online Journalism Blog
“The value news has in people’s everyday life seems to hinge less on the increasing technological, social and participatory affordances of the informative platform than on time- and place-dependent user needs …

“News wants and needs, place, moment of the day and especially the convenience of a particular news carrier appear to be defining factors in what people do with news. As Rosa (26) explained, she checks the news on her smartphone and her work computer during the day, snacks the news on her laptop and in the newspaper after work, and reads her newspaper’s weekend supplements on Saturday morning at home.”

(PS I loved the 16 consumption trends spotted here…)

  1. Reading
  2. Watching
  3. Viewing
  4. Listening
  5. Checking
  6. Snacking
  7. Scanning
  8. Monitoring
  9. Searching
  10. Clicking
  11. Linking
  12. Sharing
  13. Liking
  14. Recommending
  15. Commenting
  16. Voting

Andy Carvin launches social-media reporting team for First Look
“Because the idea of Reportedly is to have journalists or anchor/producers embedded in different social platforms and engaging directly with users there, the project doesn’t have a website yet, although it will be getting one. Carvin said that to begin with, the team will be using a Medium collection to talk about how the experiment is unfolding, and to brainstorm about the kind of journalism they want to do. But in the future, he hopes there will be a site that can act as a “central dashboard” where readers can see everything.”

The gender split in news consumption: A case of discovery?
“It could simply be, then, that the seeming disparity between the equal amount of women and men who have access to connected devices and the fact that men actually consume more news on those types of devices could be explained by the following statement: Women in the UK prefer to discover their news through social means, and certain types of digital content (that of BuzzFeed and Upworthy etc.) are simply more shareable than others.

Ultimately, the difference in the type of news content men and women consume could be as much about how they find news as what they are intrinsically interested in.”

The newsonomics of the newly quantified, gamified news reader
“The trick here is in inferring reader likes and dislikes, as in the Cosby story example. Says Frons: “Subject-based personalization limits serendipity — one of the main pleasures of social feeds in particular and the Internet in general…For content creators, I am not sure that slicing the report up into micro-individuated bundles is ever going to make business or product sense. But a little bit of personalization within a product can go a long way.”

Managing the digital content strategy for the Jingle Bell Ball 2014

One of the reasons I absolute love working for Global Radio is being involved in the amazing selection of events they put on each year. Whether it’s Capital’s Summertime Ball, Jingle Bell Ball or XFM’s Winter Wonderland – it’s always an exciting time of year as the company rallies round to deliver a brilliant experience for our audience.

As a content person I particularly love these live events because, no matter how much you plan in advance, there are always challenges (and opportunities) that crop up which need to be dealt with in the moment. If you want to get academic, it means providing an editorial structure that is nimble enough to adapt to traffic behaviour, potential technical difficulties, competitors or just amazing stuff that just happens on the day that you couldn’t have prepared for in any planning session. And it rocks.

This year covering Capital’s Jingle Bell Ball has been extra special for us as we’ve recently launched our brand new mobile site only a few weeks ago. As the majority of the Capital audience visit us via mobile, it’s been important to ensure they get the best experience possible and, looking at the positive growth in audience numbers, it’s good to see they agree!

Besides updating platforms, I think the biggest change we made this year to cover the ball was just around workflow. This is the nerdy side of editorial that, I must admit, I’m very interested in. This year we really looked at the time it took to deliver content to our audience from inception (onstage performances or backstage antics) to delivery (video, gallery, article etc) and eliminated any obstacles. That meant creating a workflow that adapted throughout the day and in accordance with the content we wanted to prioritise.

Layer on search and social and that’s an interesting beast to manoeuvre – and only made possible by a brilliant digital content team working within a slick operation that is all working towards a common goal.

Day one is now over and I’m about to head over to the O2 to prepare for the arrival of another fantastic lineup of artists. If you’re with us today in person, or through radio, online or mobile, I hope you have a brilliant day!

Follow Capital’s Jingle Bell Ball live blog here.

Capital FM website.