I saw Mel Gibson on a talk show last night. He was there to promote a new action flick he has coming out, and the host asked him about his “Three E” approach to movie making. He responded that there are three things he tries to achieve with his movies: first entertain, then educate, and then, if possible, elevate.
I instantly thought these were admirable objectives to shoot for in almost any kind of communication, though the order of priority would vary depending on the type of communication and its purpose. It may seem like I’m stating the obvious, but what came to my mind right away was how appropriate these three objectives would be for a content development strategy.
Then it occurred to me that in this context, there has to be a fourth “E,” one that is pretty critical in the social Web: engage.
I wrote about content strategy not too long ago. It’s a hot topic and a rising career field. So if you create content (and who doesn’t these days?), you might want to ask yourself if your content satisfies any of these four criteria. Think of them as a kind of quality control standard.
The content you create — from animated demos to blogs to tweets to videos on YouTube — all influence your clients’ and peers’ perception of you. As a professional, you understand the importance of the quality of your product, and you should consider your content as one of your products.
Think about the people you follow on Twitter or whose blogs you read. Chances are your favorites provide a lot of Es. I looked at the tweets of one of the people I enjoy following, and found that most of his tweets qualified:
Just for fun, take a look at what you put out there and do a quick analysis to assess the quality of your content based on the four Es. What do you see?
If you want to learn more about content strategy, don’t miss “Content Strategy Forum 2010,” two days devoted to the topic in Paris in April.
What guidelines do you use for the content you create?