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Content Strategy at Work [Paperback]

Margot Bloomstein
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

4 Dec 2012
Content is king and the new kingmaker, and your message needs to align with your model and metrics and other mumbo jumbo, right? Whether you're slogging through theory or buzzwords, there's no denying content strategy is coming of age. But what's in it for you? And if you're not a content strategist, why should you care? Because even if content strategy isn't your job, content's probably your problem - and probably more than you think. You or your business has a message you want to deliver, right? You can deliver that message through various channels and content types, from Tweets to testimonials and photo galleries galore, and your audience has just as many ways of engaging with it. So many ways, so much content. So where's the problem? That is the problem. And you can measure it in time, creativity, money, lost opportunity, and the sobs you hear equally from creative directors, project managers, and search engine marketing specialists. The solution is content strategy, and this book offers real-world examples and approaches you can adopt, no matter your role on the team. Put content strategy to work for you by gathering this book into your little hands and gobbling up never-before seen case studies from teams at Johns Hopkins Medicine, MINI, Icebreaker, and more. "Content Strategy at Work" is a book for designers, information architects, copywriters, project managers, and anyone who works with visual or verbal content. It discusses how you can communicate and forge a plan that will enable you, your company, or your client get that message across and foster better user experiences. It presents a content strategy framework and ways to implement in both in-house marketing departments and consultancies. It includes case studies, interviews, and lessons learned from retail, apparel, network television, business-to-business, automotive, non-profit, and higher ed brands. It details practical sales techniques to sell content strategy and use content strategy processes to sell other services and larger projects.

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Content Strategy at Work + Content Strategy for the Web (Voices That Matter)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann (4 Dec 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0123919223
  • ISBN-13: 978-0123919229
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 18.8 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 332,701 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"This book is filled with easy-to-use models and examples from many different resources. The chapters are cohesive and easy to understand.Content Strategy at Work is useful as a supplement for anyone who is knowledgeable or has a personal interest in content strategy."--Technical Communication, May 2013 "Bloomstein is at her most thought provoking when she shines the light on complex projects that present a host of strategic, editorial, design, organizational and technical challenges. For example, the case of the television network that wanted to comingle its programming content with encyclopedic information, a goal that required the active use of nearly every wrench and screwdriver in the CS toolkit. It demonstrates the highly strategic and supremely tactical nature of content strategy in a single project, including a healthy portion of organizational challenge, a common byproduct of smart content choices. In Content Strategy at Work, Bloomstein frames the cases with meaningful context, crisp approaches to problem solving (I will definitely be cribbing from her message architecture client exercise, which she generously shares) and genuine curiosity."--ScatterGather.Razorfish.com "The newest book to the list, Content Strategy at Work by Margot Bloomstein, is a great starting point for those with backgrounds in SEO, social media, or design. Bloomstein effortlessly ties common marketing disciplines to the emerging forefront of content marketing and does so by providing ultra-readable and down to earth case studies. The real lesson presented here, and what drives this book, is to give the user a better experience, a goal that all marketers, regardless of?background, shouldn't find much trouble getting behind."--SparkPlugDigital.com "Margot Bloomstein guides us through the lifecycle and mindset for content strategy. The process begins with defining what you really need to say. It ends with a solid plan, and long-term commitment, for maintaining that content. To illustrate this lifecycle, Bloomstein provides not only approaches from her personal experience but also a range of case studies from non-profits, healthcare, auto, apparel, higher education and many more. That's a wide variety of budgets, team sizes, and goals. Chances are you'll find many instances in this book that make you say, 'Their situation is exactly like ours!'"--Content-Science.com "Bloomstein, who heads a brand and content strategy consultancy that helps retailers, universities, and other clients engage target audiences and project key messages through traditional and social media, shows designers, information architects, project managers, copywriters, social media consultants, and others who work with visual or verbal content specific strategies for prioritizing content initiatives to ensure that its types, tone, and media support the customer experience in a way that is appropriate to the brand and useful to its audience."--Reference and Research Book News, Inc.

About the Author

Margot Bloomstein is the principal of Appropriate, Inc., a brand and content strategy consultancy based in Boston. For more than a decade, she's partnered with retailers, universities, and other organizations to create brand-appropriate user experiences that engage their target audiences and project key messages with consistency and clarity through both traditional and social media. A participant in the inaugural Content Strategy Consortium, Margot speaks regularly-and energetically-about the evolving challenges for content strategy. Recent engagements include Content Strategy Forum London, Confab, edUi, SXSW, Web 2.0 Expo, Web Content, and more intimate regional events across the country. She also helps organize Content Strategy New England. Margot is the author of Content Strategy at Work (Morgan Kaufmann, March 2012), a collection of case studies, examples, and processes that help teams embrace content strategy on every interactive project. Content Strategy at Work is a book for designers, information architects, copywriters, project managers, SEO consultants, and anyone who wants to create better user experiences, whether in in-house marketing departments or agency consulting engagements. Margot lives outside Boston with her husband Mike and Ringo, their adorable and talkative white German Shepherd.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I would recommend this book to anyone involved in content marketing whether client side or agency side. It provides valuable and actionable content to help you understand the wholistic approach to messaging across every aspect of your communication with your prospects and customers. The card sorting exercise is outstanding as a tool for two purposes: 1. It helps define the messaging architecture and 2. It makes clients go 'wow, I hadn't thought of it like that before'. It's very rewarding to be able to facilitate a client reaching such a point.
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Necessary And Compelling Read 9 April 2012
By D. Millman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
At a time when information architecture, content strategy and storytelling are more important than ever, Margot Bloomstein shows the reader how to create a unique, clear and distinctive online voice and visual language. Content Strategy at Work is more than a must read, it is a also a necessary and compelling one.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Relevant, Readable, Timely 15 Aug 2012
By Christopher Rockaway - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
When I became efficiency expert for a Fortune 100 company several years ago, the teams I joined often joked about all the "undertime" we were working that week. That is, time spent barely treading water, fixing things the direct result of either poor planning or poor communication. It was an apt term: largely for that unmistakable feeling of struggling to get your head above water, but never quite being able to.

That's why I value this book. When I joined a Health Care startup recently, I knew that our "undertime" could realistically be the difference between us making it... or not. And with so many stakeholders- watchful investors, outside consultants, and our internal teams of IT, marketing, & operations- how would we stay on the same page while developing a consistent brand for the most important people: our customers?

That's why I love this book. First, it is readable: our president enjoyed it, our IT loved it, our marketing embraced it. Margot Bloomstein doesn't just say "get early buy in from your stakeholders," she shows you how- laying out plans for productive group sessions, showing how to uncover common priorities in a room full of opposing ideas, etc. She doesn't just say "good content has this, bad content has that", she blows you over with examples across diverse industries & content, from Health Care to Education to Jam Makers. She provides useful checklists to track whether you're doing things right, developing solid content & consistent branding. This isn't a book simply floating in theory- it's feet are planted firmly on the ground.

Now further into our launch, we've discovered a bonus: as reality challenges our initial brand assumptions, Content Strategy is the grease that lubricates change. It used to be IT doing this, marketing doing that, the president & investors pushing for that, each of them spinning off well-intentioned ideas while our customers are greeted by a smorgasbord of noncohesive content- a bad dream! Now I say: "Considering how our customers are interacting with our social media, I think our communication priorities may have to change. Also, we may need to tweak our message architecture to accommodate this, & make things easier for them to find." To which multi-discipline teams now respond: "You're right. Let's address X, Y, and Z now, and be consistent about it."

IT, Marketing, Management, & others all speaking the same language of change?? If you know of another approach that doesn't just keep your team on the same page- but helps them stay on a turning page!- I'd like to hear about it. For my money though (literally), I'll stick with Content Strategy at Work.

Thank you to Mrs Bloomstein for giving us a resource that helps real people build modern businesses in modern times. And for helping me personally get rid of that "sinking feeling" at work.

Christopher Brockway
Licensed Nurse, PMI-trained Project Manager I
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book rocked my world 14 Aug 2013
By S. Brown - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book for a class, thinking ho-hum, another silly textbook where all the authors do is self-reference and add unnecessary multisyllabic adjectives to sentences to sound smart and intimidate uncerclassmen. But lo, this book is none of those things. It is useful. And I mean that. Coming from a person who usually gleefully sells/destroys/dustbins almost all textbooks after the class is over, this should be meaningful to you, too. This book provides real, actual tools and step-by-step processes you can use to conduct a content overhaul where you work - or for your clients. And it does it all without the annoying pretension of academia or the corporate gobblydegook of the MBA set. One could even say the author has... sass! All in all, I will be keeping this book in my office for easy reference, rather than tossing it in the garage with all my other management guides to hubris.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The whys and hows of content strategy applied 7 Jun 2012
By Frances Archer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I picked up a copy of Content Strategy at Work at the Confab 2012, and it turned out to be one of the most valuable take-aways of the event for me. Bloomstein's insights into how to generate and maintain content apply not only to websites, but to many types of marketing communications. She covers the subject both comprehensively, so you understand the whole picture, and with great detail so you learn how to use content strategy techniques in your own work. In her presentation of case studies, she walks you through the process, giving special emphasis to the steps the reader would take to achieve the same outcomes. Her conversational style is entertaining and she makes it interesting with lots of insights from other content pros. I've already put into practice a number of the techniques she discussed, and the results were terrific. Loved, loved, loved this book.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A much needed collection of real examples 4 May 2012
By Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Content strategy is lacking in most businesses -- and that's one reason that Margot Bloomstein's "Content Strategy at Work" is so important. Adopting a content strategy that supports business goals is a critical part of getting work done in a modern enterprise -- especially in the mobile, digital world in which we live. Bloomstein understands this and gives the reader actionable tasks to help them get the process started.

I really like the card-sorting exercises as they seem to help readers understand the concepts they'll need to start thinking about to organize their content for findability, retrieval and use. It's a book full of ah-ha moments -- different for each reader -- the type that are required when shifting from the "we just do it any way we can" mentality to a more formal "we create, manage and deliver content in accordance with our formal content strategy" approach that digitally-savy organizations require.

I also love the fact that this book is comprised of stories, not theories. The stories illustrate the importance of the content (after all, it's king) and highlight the need for strategy to govern the creation, management, deliver and presentation of that content (after all, if it's king, it deserves to be treated that way).

"Content Strategy At Work" is a welcome addition to the literature on this subject. I look forward to seeing what else Bloomstein comes up with.
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