Higher Ed Content Strategy: The Plot Twist

content strategy is all about asking the right questions

Detective Spooner: Is there a problem with the Three Laws?
Dr. Lanning: The Three Laws are perfect.
Detective Spooner: Then why would you build a robot that could function without them?
Dr. Lanning: The Three Laws will lead to only one logical outcome.
Detective Spooner: What? What outcome?
Dr. Lanning: Revolution.
Detective Spooner: Whose revolution?
Dr. Lanning: *That*, Detective, is the right question.
from I, Robot

I love movies with a plot twist, especially one I didn’t see coming. In the movie I, Robot Detective Spooner suspects a robot is behind the murder of someone close to him. As it turns out, the murder was committed by a robot, but not the one the detective thought it was. The detective could have solved the murder sooner had he asked the right question first. Higher ed content is much like a movie with a plot twist. Most schools have a lot of great content written to tell their story. The problem is the story they tell is written to answer the wrong questions.

Every university has story. Tell it.

Skip the brochureware and tell your story.

More often than not content on a website – especially in higher ed – is rather dull and uninspiring. The closest we get to creating emotion is through news posts, stories about students, alumni, faculty and staff. We can do better. The meat & potatoes of a university website is where we introduce a prospect to our schools, our programs, and administration. Rather than present content like a brochure, why not tell a story? Our story.

Value-Added Storytelling

How to take someone else's story and make it your own.

Image of storyteller

Content is king. That’s what we used to say 10 years ago. And it’s still king – sort of. The issue is that as more and more people vie for visibility and authority, the same stories get repackaged in a different wrapper and published over and over. And the overall value of the content diminishes over time.