Content Is King

Today everybody is a content expert.

DSCN2216“Years ago we used to just call that communications,” said Jon Newman of the The Hodges Partnership. He was speaking to a group of PR practitioners about how content is king.

He challenged the audience to consider several questions, including:

  • How are we going to spread out the content?
  • How are we going to manage it?
  • Where are audiences getting the content?
  • What is competing for their attention?

Newman cited one study that said 90 percent of information comes from screens, whether it’s a computer, tablet or smartphone. People spend 4.4 hours of leisure time in front of screens.

“Think about what that means for your content,” he said.

One of the challenges for many is that with all the screens, more content is needed. Jon challenges that notion and suggests that most of us actually have more content than we realize. His recommendation is to conduct a content audit. One way to track is to use an editorial calendar. At least 20 percent of your content should be original and the rest can be from other sources. “Then it doesn’t look like you’re simply selling or pushing your content,” he says.

Once you know your sources of content and you know that people are using more screens, think about how you deliver the content. It’s okay to repeat content on different platforms because someone who follows you on Twitter may not read your blog. Sharing content visually is important, too, especially on screens. Most importantly, content must break through the clutter – quality counts.

Americans Spend Lots of Time Glued to Their Smartphones

Smartphones are frequently used for playing games, including Sudoku.

Smartphones are frequently used for playing games, including Sudoku.

One of my favorite uses of my smartphone is to play Sudoku. It’s great for when I’m stuck waiting. I also play when I’m watching television. And I use the smartphone camera – alot. The next step, of course, is to share on Facebook. On occasion, I check my emails.

The result is that I spend much more time using my smartphone than I realize. I haven’t added it up but a report by Flurry, which helps companies build, measure, advertise and monetize mobile applications in the new app economy, says that Americans who own smartphones or tablets spend, on average, 2 hours and 38 minutes glued to their mobile devices. Who knew?!

The findings show:

  • More than 50 minutes are spent playing games. Clearly, I have not paid attention to how much time I spend on my phone. It’s a good thing I never downloaded Bejeweled!
  • Almost 30 minutes are spent on Facebook. The other social sites account for less than 10 minutes.
  • About three minutes is allotted for email, which Flurry classifies as productivity. It’s good to know I’m doing something productive with my phone.

How do you measure up?

How to Prioritize Your Work Week

I’m as guilty as the next person for working long hours. However, I’ve learned to recalibrate whenever I begin to slip into that mode. I’ve learned a few good tips from others that help with that calibration.

Quality not quantity: I once worked with someone who liked to brag about all the hours they worked. Unfortunately, the person seldom completed assignments and she certainly wasn’t giving more than 100 percent. That’s always stuck with me. I try to deliver quality. When I need to focus I close my office door. If you don’t have an office door, stick a note on your cube that you can’t be disturbed or put on headphones (even if you aren’t listening to anything). For me, the act of closing myself off focuses me to concentrate on the task at hand. With concentration I can deliver a good product in a few hours, rather than taking 10 hours.

First Things First: Each evening before I leave, I note the one assignment I must complete the next day. Ideally, I start my day working on it, although sometimes, I confess, I get sucked into my emails immediately. When I stay focused on my priority, I feel better, in part, because the completion of the assignment usually means I’ve advanced a strategic initiative. Once it’s completed, I move onto other tasks on my ongoing list.

Five Days: A work week has five days, yet I often try to cram all of my meetings onto Monday. Once I started thinking about a 40-hour week and not an 8-hour day, I was able to make the calendar work for me. I space out meetings so that I have time following each meeting to provide the follow-up I agreed to and to type up notes.

Take Vacation: At some point, we all need an infusion of energy. In college, breaks were built into the academic calendar but that doesn’t happen in the work world. Sure, there is a day here and there for a holiday, but I’m talking about a week, or at least a few days, away from the office. In December, I plan out my days for the coming year. I like to provide myself a break every three months. I may alter the days some but just knowing I have time off scheduled makes it easier to plow throw the work.

What are your tips to prioritize your work?