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This is What to Do When People Don’t Get Content Marketing [The Weekly Wrap]

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And that’s a wrap of the week ending Jan. 3, 2020
The first week of the year has me reflecting on what to do when people just don’t “get it.” I offer a fresh take on an article that points to content marketing as a potential life ring for journalists. I talk with Alan Schulman about helping execs see content as much more than campaigns. And I share an article that will help make sure your C-suite really does get it.

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Our theme this week – who gets it if “they” don’t get it? Let’s wrap it up.

One deep thought: What if your manager doesn’t get it? (2:33)

The new year is often a time of reflection and projection, of resolutions and new habits. Like many people, you may be asking, “What’s going to be different this year?” Maybe you’re asking because you feel stuck. Maybe that project you’ve been building a business case for won’t get approved. Maybe your boss just doesn’t get it.

You may have encountered a manager who embodies the Peter Principle, which describes how “in a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence.” In other words, skilled people are promoted from job to job until they reach a level where they can’t perform the job. If you follow the Peter Principle to its inevitable conclusion, every job in the company eventually is filled with someone who is incompetent to carry out the duties of the position.

So, wait. That means the Peter Principle applies to you and me, too. I explore whether it could be that we’re the ones who’ve reached the ceiling of our ability to do our job – and, if so, what we should do about it.

Maybe your boss doesn’t get #contentmarketing. Or could we be the ones who’ve reached the ceiling of our ability to do our job? @Robert_Rose @CMIContent #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet

A fresh take on brand journalism as a savior for (at least a few) journalists (10:30)

Nieman Labs recently asked people working in journalism for their predictions about media in 2020. One that caught my eye came from Alana Levinson, deputy editor of MEL, the lifestyle magazine founded and funded by Dollar Shave Club.

A journalist who made the switch from ad-supported media to “brand-backed media” (aka content marketing), Alana recounts how people told her she was crazy to take a role with a magazine. Yet if she had stayed at the website where she worked, she likely would have been laid off for the third time in two years. Given that reality for journalists, Alana offers this observation:

I wouldn’t call brand-backed journalism a “lifeboat.” It’s more of a floating door from the sinking ship that can save at least one person.

I offer my take on why this isn’t really a new trend and why I’m sure there’s room on that floating door for more than one journalist.

Could brand-backed media be “the floating door from the sinking ship” for journalists as @alanalevinson predicts? @Robert_Rose shares his thoughts on the #WeeklyWrap. Click To Tweet

This week’s person making a difference in content: Alan Schulman (16:04)

I’ve been a fan of Alan Schulman’s thinking for a long time. This week, I finally got to talk with him. Until the end of 2019, Alan was Deloitte Digital’s chief content and creative officer and led its New York Content design and production studio. A copywriter by training (and experience), he holds degrees in journalism and communications, advertising, and jazz. Alan teaches content marketing for General Assembly (a source for training, staffing, and career transition) and other programs. He is about to launch his own consulting practice.

I talked with Alan about the move to “always-on content” and what it really takes to sell the C-suite on content’s value. Here’s a peek at Alan’s take on how to convince the CFO that content is about so much more than paid campaigns:

“You’ve got to develop a C-suite scorecard that can speak to a CFO or a COO so they understand what all the people generating content in the organization are doing to generate competitive advantage.”

A scorecard helps the C-suite see how people creating content generate competitive advantage, says @DigShulman via @CMIContent on #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet

Listen in to our conversation, then learn more from Alan:

One content marketing idea you can use (32:13)

In keeping with our theme of helping people get it, I’d love for you to take another look at a CMI post by Michael Brenner, How to Make the Content Marketing Case With ROI. Michael shares how you can get executive (and budget) support for content marketing projects by addressing the inevitable ROI questions before you even get going.

Love for this week’s sponsor: ContentTECH Summit

Join me this spring at ContentTECH Summit 2020, where we’re lining up in-depth workshops, keynote talks, and practical presentations to help you become a more effective, more strategic content marketer. You’ll get insights to help you provide a richer experience for your customers and build a more profitable, stronger business.

I hope to see you and your team August 10 to 12 in San Diego.

Check out the agenda today.

The wrap-up

Join me next week for one deep thought that will help you avoid pour decisions, a news article that will help you ring in your 2020 plans, and a content marketing tip that will help you avoid dropping the ball. And it’s all delivered in a little less time than it takes to read another scathing review of the movie Cats.

If you like this weekly play on words, we’d sure love for you to review it and share it. Hashtag us up on Twitter: #WeeklyWrap.

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute