Updated December 2023

I've written before about how we use the People-Information-Goals® Strategy to suss out the most important aspects of a content development project. And I've penned a few posts on using the Idea-Details® Strategy (essentially the INFORMATION block of the PIG) for writing short form stuff. Both are great tools to help you plan your content before you get too far down the old garden path.

Last week, I used the two strategies in tandem to plan a short e-book for a new client. With the holiday this week, the time frame for the work is seriously compressed and we don't have time for lost cycles. Combining the two strategies allows us to work as quickly as possible on the right track. Here's how:

    1. First, we completed the PIG, agreeing on the target audience, what they needed to know about the topic and what we wanted them to think or do with the information. Then we broke down the actual content -- the main idea and the details that would support it.
    2. Then we did an I-D for each of the supporting details, which became the topic areas for the book.
    3. Finally, we pulled source material from the CMS so we would not only have on-target background, but a set of links to videos, webinars, blog posts and white papers that could be presented as related content in the ebook.

We got the whole thing done in about five working days.

One big win is the clarity we get from the git-go. But this approach also makes it easier for us to distribute the content development across our team instead of relying on one writer to do it all. I assigned various chapters to our own subject-matter experts, so writers could work on what they know best. This makes for higher-quality writing from the start, and means we can share the workload so many chapters are in production at once. This is key to meeting the tight time frame.

This approach to content operations allows us to work smarter and faster. Email me with questions on how to do this in your shop.

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