Why we changed the book name
There are lots of books out there: Content Strategy for the Web, Content Strategy for Mobile, Content at Work, and so on. Similarly, our book was going to be titled Content Strategy for Decision Makers. However, it turns out there is a bit of a problem with that title: our intended audience didn’t consider themselves decision-makers. The disconnect was the term “decision-maker.”
Team leads, project managers, operational managers, project directors, and people in related positions make lots of decisions, but they associated decision-making with pay grades higher than theirs: their senior managers, directors, vice-presidents, or C-level executives. Our book was not for those C-level executives – they may sign off on the strategy brought before them, but they leave the investigation and recommendations to decision-makers at a more operational level.
If our advance readers weren’t sure what role “decision maker” referred to, we couldn’t expect that the average bookstore browser would identify with the title either. But what to call what we’d affectionately started calling The Damn Book? In brainstorming new titles, we realised that the difficulty was in narrowing the audience. The book illustrates the who, when, and especially why, of a strategically aligned and systematic approach to dealing with content. It’s not the how-to level that a practitioner expects to carry out a content strategy, but for the person the practitioner reports to.
The book is for the manager or team lead who is called upon to adopt a content strategy and wonders what that actually means, or the project manager who is being asked to lead a CMS implementation and doesn’t understand it, so doesn’t know how to begin estimating the activities involved. It’s for the director who is being asked for head count and doesn’t know why it’s important to have particular skill sets. It’s for the mid-level managers who need to explain the benefits to the executives who will sign off on the budget for their initiatives.
So the new title doesn’t narrow, but expands. Content Strategy: Connecting the dots between business, brand, and benefits focuses on just that: the nexus point between the content, the business, the brand, and the benefits that can be identified and realised when that nexus is properly addressed with process, people, policy, and tools. In short, the focus is on everything we think that content strategy is and should be. And this is articulated at levels useful both to those who are trying to put content and their work into meaningful business terms, and to the uninitiated who are approaching the topic from the “what is it and why should I care?” perspective. We hope that you’ll see Content Strategy: Connecting the dots between business, brand, and benefits as a book for you.