This is the third post in my Cynical Corporate Lesson of the Day series.  I’m, thankfully, about to run out of cynicism, so just check out my Introduction notes here.
This is for those who care about the grind.

You know what was missing from my previous job’s organizational structure?


Image from Dan North’s blog


I’m just thankful I get to see it in action now (in my current job).

Marketing-centric organizations (like the digital advertising agency where I work) value copywriting a lot.  You can’t sell anyone something without the well-crafted words to tell them what’s so special about it.

The challenge (or advantage — depending on how you want to look at things) of working inside a media/entertainment company was that our internal Clients (the actual heads and creatives of the media brands) were highly-experienced content-creators themselves.  In the organization, they were, then, considered responsible for content.

Because of this, the web development team became more relegated to designing “houses” or containers for content, and not really the content itself.

This is tough when, as soooo many content marketing-savvy individuals will say – “content is everything”.  It’s what your site/app/game is saying or doing that makes people look for it.

"Design is still about words."
Quote from 37signals’ Signals VS Noise blog

We spent so much time optimizing wireframing, usability, aesthetics, responsive design, learning from AWWWARDS Site of the Day winners — but we had little control over the copy on our sites, or what pictures our Clients used.

Hopefully, it slowly changes, and the product development team gets to a point where they also get clout in terms of digital content development.

We were transitioning to it before I left.  I conducted content planning workshops for editorial teams, so that all concerned parties invested time in taking care of the digital brands.

Instead of the web development team just making “houses”, for the content providers to just plug stuff into after the fact.

The beautiful potential of the situation was that we were working with writers, directors, editors, photographers, publishers and media production managers.  So it was really more a matter of working with them closely to translate their storytelling skills into web content.

Fun times.



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