We've been spending a lot of time working with a big client on a content strategy. They're building an online community and want some content to go along with the chats and forums. We talked to them about their goals for the community and for the editorial and a/v content they wanted to accompany it. Then we looked at their audience and its needs and built out a matrix that serves both client and audience. It looks something like this:

© 2011 Margot Carmichael Lester/The Word Factory

The idea is to figure out all the different ways we can explore and explain the concept. We had a slew of ideas, but settled on these to start. Thinking about this ahead of time allows us to help content producers go about researching and interviewing more effectively. There isn't much back-tracking or circling, so the process is tidier, more efficient. And the resulting content, while different in form, is all of a piece, creating a unified package that drives results.

Try this the next time you're charged with creating covering an issue or subject area. I think you'll find it makes the entire process faster and smoother, and the content more effective.

What do you think?