It’s no so often we get rebuttal op-eds, but Brian Clark, CEO of GMD Studios, was so inclined to offer his perspective after reading last month’s submission from Extractable VP/user experience Dana Larson, who went into detail explaining what exactly entails being a content strategist. Well, now it’s time to pass the mic to Clark, the former publisher of IndieWire and a founding partner of the content production start-up, Mastheading, who has been “helping brands” like Microsoft, Ford , IFC and News Corp. …”leverage content solutions for more than fifteen years.”
If you believe guest perspectives from some experienced folks in the advertising and marketing press, content strategists are your go-to experts for such diverse skills as content audits, SEO reviews, accessibility guidelines, template design, “voice and tone development,” taxonomy and… oh yeah, content development.
Even when these experts promote the mantra of “think more like a publisher than a marketer,” they end up revealing more about how they think publishing works than the way it actually does. Content Marketing is an old, multi-billion dollar-a-year industry now becoming populated with bloggers and Web developers who think it is a new paradigm-shaking career change to position themselves as “content strategists.”
Guess what title doesn’t exist at real publications? Content Strategist. In publishing, we call those “editors” and they come in a huge variety of flavors, from overall editorial visions (Editor-in-Chief) to production management (Managing Editor) to technical implementation (Assistant Editors). Most content strategists from agencies would be labeled “consulting editor” or “contributing editor” by publishers, since they are advising the client and not actually crafting the result.