Wednesday, 26 June 2013

The ABC’s of Re-Purposing Content

As social media practitioners we’re always trying to find sources of great information… breaking news, industry trends, research, expert insight, public opinion… the list goes on. We’re so busy following trends and reading what others are saying that we often forget to dig in our own back yard for the content that’s been written for other purposes.
Photo courtesy of flickr.com by Josh Kenzer


If you’re working in a large company the communications responsibilities are probably divided between different departments: PR & Marketing, Corporate Communications, Community Relations, Investor Relations or a combination of sorts. Social Media then works in lock step with all of these departments as a possible communications tool to reach specific target audiences. 

Freelancers or practitioners in smaller organizations will be juggling it all so it’s even more important to find efficient ways to re-package what’s already been written. The salient information (or key messages) will be the same with some minor adjustments depending on the vehicle used to carry the message and perhaps the target audience. You’ll adjust the language, deal with the word count, align with communications objectives and fire away!

The variety of delivery methods is endless and you’ll make your choices depending on where your audience lurks. It’s all about capturing eyeballs, then engaging, entertaining and building loyalty and trust. Of course, goals will vary depending on the tool being used but trust is critical no matter what. In order to build that trust the information shared needs to be consistent.

So, if you’re in a bigger company, make friends with anyone who is responsible for writing copy. If it’s all on you, scour your files for the great material you’ve already written… no need to reinvent the wheel.

Here are a few ABCs of rearranging your words for maximum mileage:

Articles and Annual Reports
Scan through features articles that have run in magazines that have featured your company or quoted your CEO or other senior leadership. Pull the quotes and create tweets and link to the article.

It’s the same with the annual report.  There’s typically a message from the CEO that could be broken down into bite sized Tweets, there are statistics that could make great LinkedIn status updates (as long as it’s been a good year) and maybe pull a few projections or future goals to highlight on the company Facebook page, with a link to a PDF of the annual report for anyone who wants to delve into more detail.

Books, Blogs and Bling
If anyone in your organization is blogging (preferably the CEO), gather the blogs from the past year and create an eBook (and a print version if time and budget allows). Think about the audience, create a clever theme and title, use it as a give away, bring it to conferences and conventions, sell it on Amazon, do a book signing, go on media tour, do a virtual book tour…

You’re probably getting the picture now. Us old-timers used to call it integrated marketing! Each individual blog could also be broken down into at least 10 Tweets that then link to the blog where the Tweet originated.

Website copy is also a great source for blog topics and bling. Maybe the copywriter for the website came up with a great catch phrase that could be re-purposed for some bling (t-shirts, thumb drives or iPad covers).

Catalogues, Cards and Collateral
I know, old-fashioned, thing of the past but they do still exist online on company websites. Take a few of the glamor shots (hopefully the marketing department has done a professional product shoot) and post them on your Facebook page (images have the highest click rate of any type of post on FB) and, of course, on Pinterest, with a link to the full catalogue. The FB message can also be Tweeted but when you craft the message, focus on the product benefit to the reader, not just ‘hey look at my product!’

Remember those pithy taglines your website copywriter created? Why not use them in a presentation or on a billboard. Heck, why not create an eCard for the holidays? And, don’t forget to Tweet it too!

The real secret to re-purposing content is to know what content is being written. Simple, right? All content producers should get together regularly to share, brainstorm and repurpose so everyone stays on message, aligns with communications objectives and keeps all feet firmly on the ground, not in mouth.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Guest Post from Indie Author Nonnie Jules on 'Getting it Done!'


I'm happy to host a fellow indie author today as part of her blog tour celebrating the launch of her first book! Here's Nonnie Jules' insight into taking the self-publishing road. Take it away Nonnie!
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Hello, my name is Nonnie Jules and I am the Author of The Good Mommies' Guide to Raising (Almost) Perfect Daughters, 100 Tips On Raising Daughters Everyone Can't Help But Love!  Although I was born in TX, my family relocated to Shreveport, LA when I was a toddler, so I am from Shreveport.  I am married with two beautiful "Angel" Daughters (as I like to call them) and we live on a huge tract of land somewhere in the "country".  Now, don't feel sorry for me because I'm not a city-girl.  I love where I am.  It's peaceful and quiet and gives me the solitude I need to think and create wonderful stories in my mind that will hopefully appear in print for your enjoyment. 

Now that I have shared a little of myself with you, let me welcome you to The (Almost) Perfect Daughters Blog Tour!  I would like to thank Anne for giving me this opportunity to share with her readers.  I was the winner of her book Mental Pause recently during one of her Author interviews with another blogger.  When she contacted me to let me know that I had won, I immediately turned around and asked if she would allow me to appear here, to which she responded without hesitation "YES"!  Anne, you are such a gem and I can't thank you enough.

I am a self-published author and The Good Mommies' Guide.. is my very first book.  The idea to write this book had been floating around in my head for quite some time, but I really just didn't know how I would actually make it happen....translation...how I would get it published.  I've heard the horror stories of your work sitting, collecting dust on a shelf while waiting to be picked up by a publishing house or the like.  During this time, I met another self-published Author who turned me on to Amazon's KDP Publishing, and I haven't looked back!  I must be honest though, although it took me only 17 days to write this entire book, it took me a lot longer to publish it.  Why, you ask, since I was so happy about the KDP publishing process?  Well, I thought that I would finish writing the book then just hit UPLOAD and wa lah!, my manuscript would be a BOOK, online, (on Amazon to be more specific), and ready for the world to purchase!  Well, that didn't happen.

So, there it sat for a few days while I had to learn how to format the book for the Kindle ("what is a Kindle?".... Yes, seriously, I was asking that question). I was so frustrated because of this, that for a few days, I wanted to just throw in the towel and give it all up.  But, a wonderful friend of mine, who is also a self-published author, shook me and said, "If you want to be an Author, you have to take the time and learn this stuff!  All of it!" By this "stuff", he meant everything having to do with the publishing process.  He explained to me that even if a publishing house were to sign me one day, that this was all education I was still going to need.  Because he knew that I was very overwhelmed and anxious to get my book published, he took it, formatted it, sent it back to me and then, after re-proofing, I finally got to hit the upload button!  I think I heard angels singing that day!  I was finally a published author! 

The reason I wanted to share all of this with you was because I want you to know that although it's not necessarily an easy, easy process, it is a very do-able one, and something you CAN get through.  I want to encourage you to never give up your dream of becoming a published author.  Especially now, when the process is not as difficult as it was in the past.  We don't necessarily need publishers and publishing houses to get our work out there anymore; we can be our own publishers and establish our own publishing houses.  Isn't that exciting to know?  Well, it was for me.

For all the new writers, aspiring authors, bloggers and the like my advice to you would be to first...just breathe.  Then, commit in your mind to doing the work because although it's an easy fix around a typically lengthy process, it's still hard work.  Take to YouTube and Google to learn everything you need to know from start to finish of the writing/publishing process.  I'm still not totally clear on everything, but at least I know how to get started.  I know where to look to find my answers, and I understand that patience and perseverance are what's needed to become successful in this industry.  When you take to social media, where I came across so many naysayers telling me that "I had to learn to play the game" (what game?  I'm serious about this), "I needed to put in my time before I got anyone to help me"  (really, I found some seriously cool people who jumped right in to help me), and there is so much more of where all that came from.  But, as Singer/Songwriter Kandi Burress belts out: "you have to FLY ABOVE ALL THE DRAMA"!  And if you are successful in doing that, the naysayers will never, ever be able to bring you down. 

Before I go, I'd like to share with you the two projects that I have in the works right now.  A children's book entitled "Kirsten and the Big Blue Tree", which is due out at the end of this month (June, 2013) and a as-yet-to-be-titled novel, with a release date of August 30, 2013.  I hope you've enjoyed what I've shared here today and ask that you check out my blog called Watch Nonnie Write!  at www.nonniewrites.wordpress.com.  I am giving away one $25 Visa Gift Card at the conclusion of this tour and you can register at www.nonniejules.com (under the EVENTS tab).  I'm always on Twitter @nonniejules, and on Facebook (Nonnie Jules) promoting others as well as myself (I know, a normal person would probably say, "Promoting myself as well as others"), but for some strange reason, I start out helping others before I even think of helping me.  Just a nasty old (nice) habit I have.

Thanks again for having me, and I welcome comments on my blog or my website.  I wish you all the best and every success you deserve!