Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

Should every blog post have a photo and how to get better ones

“A photo is worth a thousand words.” The person who said that first certainly hadn’t heard of irrelevant stock art photography that people now use abundantly on their blogs and websites. Those people in that meeting look oh so happy. Stock art! 

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Why To Not Just Repurpose Existing Content


January 5, 2017

Content gathering

Here’s a quick video I did on this important topic. You can’t be unique by copying others. 

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Why we shouldn’t take that social media photo – sometimes!

Fall in Iowa is beautiful, though a bit too cold for me. It’s actually surprisingly hard to take a good fall photo. This, for example, looked a lot better offline: I spotted the scenery during a walking meeting in 2016 and actually took this shot 4-5 times. Ugh. The photo isn’t showing how it looks […]

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[MARKETING] Why we shouldn’t make up quotes for people in our marketing stories

It can seem easier for writers and content creators to write the quotes from “actual people” marketing materials. It’s one way to make sure they stay on message, I suppose.  Marketing materials, of course, can include printed pieces, other offline items and all kinds of digital components, including ads, blogs and eNewsletters. And many marketers […]

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[STORYTELLING] How to get access to the people with the good stories

It’s virtually impossible to share good and meaningful stories if we don’t have access to the people who lived and participated in those stories. That’s why personal storytelling is so much easier than organizational storytelling. We already have access to the person who lived the story – us. When we work in an organization’s communications […]

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Organizational storytelling: Should we check the background of people whose stories we are sharing?

Storytelling strategies can be full of reasons why not to publish something. In fact, if we want to find a reason to not publish a story that can be a super easy task: We don’t have the time. We don’t want to. I’m not a good writer. Somebody, somewhere may potentially be offended by something in the […]

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[STORYTELLING] Cameras on people can help us gather authentic stories 

While at a Chicago White Sox game in 2016 my wife pointed out to me that the approaching vendor had two cameras attached to him. One pointed at him and one at the crowd. Of course, I asked him about it. “We are doing a special on vendors and it’ll be on the website. They […]

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[EMPLOYEE ADVOCACY] How to get employees to share stories without feeling like braggarts 

Some people don’t share any of their authentic stories – good and bad – and they have reasons for that.  Good stories – they don’t want to come off as bragging about themselves.  Not so good stories – they are embarrassed and don’t want to feel vulnerable publicly.  These are valid reasons and we should […]

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What lean content marketing should actually be – especially in large organizations 

Some so-called content marketing experts have shared their own definitions of what lean content marketing is and isn’t. Here are my steps on how lean content marketing can actually be most helpful – especially the larger an organization gets. The model of “lean (insert industry)” stems from lean manufacturing, as Charles Duhigg shares in his […]

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#Blizzard2016 – like other weather events – a great reminder of importance of showing over telling 

Heavy snow storms hitting the East Coast of the United States was a great reminder of how important it is for us to show stories and not just tell them. Everyone, please stay safe.  We had TV reporters wading through deep snow to show its actual depth, a panda in Washington, D.C., playing in the […]

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How long does content creation actually take?

Content creation can sound so simple: Interview people (It’s just like talking over dinner, right?) Write an article Social media!!!! Social media!!!! Shoot some photos Shoot some videos Do a podcast, too, while at it. In some people’s minds content creation – whether it’s in content marketing or traditional journalism – shouldn’t take that long. […]

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Somebody needs to wade through all this content to find the stories worth sharing


October 26, 2015

Content gathering

Some stories take time to unfold. Stories in real life aren’t like the movies or TV shows where it’s all made to fit into a specific time frame. “Some details aren’t that engaging.” – @ctrappe #contentmarketing Click To Tweet Real life stories can unfold over hours, weeks, months or even longer. There are down times. […]

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Tools help us share our stories, but they don’t create them for us

Some of my talks in the later part of 2015 have been about tools: At WordCamp Omaha I talked about the wonderful Jetpack plugin and how it makes content distribution so much easier. At SUGCON North America, a Sitecore conference in New Orleans, my talk focused on when to pick Sitecore for your blogging project and […]

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