Non-web content strategy. A parable.

Here’s a non-website metaphor for all you content strategy folks:

A while back, I was tasked to rewrite the script for a pretty large (200+ employees) technology company’s phone message system.

They were launching a new identity, and the message was a “great opportunity to communicate the new branding to customers.” The core principal of that new brand was a commitment to “practical, easy-to-understand solutions” that helped people do their jobs better.

So I started asking questions about some basic functions of their phone system (e.g. What were the main goals of the callers? What support services do you provide over the phone? How do you organize company divisions?)…

Nobody understood what that had to do with the phone message. It was just supposed to sound nice and tell people the new brand mission, without any specifics to help the customers actually reach the person they were hoping to reach.

I ended up writing the initial greeting with their boilerplate copy about helpful solutions for their customers, and sending over the rest with, “If you’d like to speak with [blank], press [blank] now. For [blank], press [blank].”

Lorem ipsum anyone?