Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

Intent matters

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Intent matters. Ask the people in prison for it.

Seriously, though, intent also matters in the stories and information that we share on our blogs and social media channels – two of my favorite content marketing channels.

What was our intent when we posted what we posted?

Did we try to teach? Did we try to show somebody off? Did we (knowingly) spread incorrect information?

Why did we do it? The intent matters.

Sometimes, we might misinterpret somebody’s intent or something was taking out of the so-called context – like when somebody quotes us. “That was taking out of context.” Do we really mean: “That wasn’t my intent to come across like that?”  Maybe. Being taken out of context also comes back to intent. Did they intent do be misleading with their quote or actually thought it was accurate? Yes, I know oftentimes, the actual words were spoken, but with the additional words also spoken around them don’t make much sense or have a different meaning.

The intent can come back to our relationship with the person and even their body language, which can be hard to read when the message is sent through a Tweet. 🙂

Maybe, just maybe, the person really picked the less-than-perfect words by mistake. So, instead of jumping on him or her with one of those digital lynch mobs, what if we ask a clarification question first:

I read your post this way. Is that right?

Can you explain that further?

Certainly, some statements people make are better kept in one’s head. So maybe they actually intended them that way. Sometimes I wonder. Maybe they just weren’t prepared for the digital onslaught of opinions.

Can we change our intent after the digital lynch mob has gotten a hold of us? Probably not. Sometimes people say after the fact that they didn’t intent to cause that reaction, but does that mean they intended what they said?

Intent matters. Let’s make it count for something. I try to share things with good intentions. Feel free to join me.


Christoph Trappe

Hello and thanks for stopping by. I'm Christoph Trappe and I'm the Vice President of Content Marketing Strategy, Americas, at ScribbleLive, which is based in Toronto and is a global content marketing software company. Before I started at ScribbleLive I was VP of Content Marketing and Conversion at MedTouch, a Boston-based company that helps healthcare organizations with digital marketing. I've written two books, speak at conferences around the globe and blog frequently on here. I love sharing my stories and helping organizations share theirs. If you need help, just visit the Contact Me page in the navigation and drop me a note. I'm always happy to chat! Thanks for reading! - Christoph ctrappe@christophtrappe.com 319-389-9853

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