The New 2019 Definition of Content

Content as a word, a concept, a product … is something we are all familiar with. And today, every company is in the content business. Stacks of content that is being used to communicate something: internally to colleagues, externally to customers, clients, partners and investors.

Content fatigue has set in, however (a problem I see everywhere now) – defined as the collision between content oversupply and content ineffectiveness (facts and information lacking story-structure).

Going forward, if we are going to rely on content as fundamental to the success of our business (and yes, we will), then we must redefine what content actually is in order to re-energize ourselves for another year of content’s importance to business strategy (revenue growth).

But first some old (existing) definitions of Content:

“Principal substance (such as written matter, illustrations, or music) offered by a website.” Mirriam-Webster online dictionary.    “The subject, ideas, or story that a piece of writing or a radio or television programme deals with.” Macmillan online dictionary.

Out with the old, in with the new.

Here it is … My new 2019 definition of content:

Events, ideas, scenarios and data pieced together to form Scenes that tell a Story of problem-solving.

(Problem-solving being both transformative and innovative – how could it not be, right?)

Scenes are patterns that create sequences that we follow in a story. Indeed the definition of a Scene is action that takes place in one location. So when the hero moves from one setting to the next, we have to be motivated to want to move with her. What creates that motivation? Challenges, obstacles, problems needing to be solved.

Every Scene must be carefully constructed to “show the stakes” – what can be won or lost.  Replace hero with company or executive decision maker, or any other character that has an influence on the results of a story, and the principles of a valuable Scene do not change. Notice the word “valuable.”

Most companies – of all sizes – are not maximizing their Scene value because they are still stuck on the old definitions of content.  If you get stuck, return to the definition of storytelling: problem-solving.  Is your content focused on this? And yes, sometimes it takes a few Scenes to get there. But there again lies the importance of ensuring every single Scene is analyzed closely for its impact on the next Scene and so on.

Scene Thinkingskills are crucial now. Without it your Story value will never be maximized – and neither will your content. It’s 2019 … time to own your Scenes and own your content!


My company, SpeakingEnergy Ltd has been consulting to companies large and small on the power of Scene Thinking™ for over a decadeEmail me: Storytelling at SpeakingEnergy dot com (include in the subject line: Scene Serious) for a discussion about how to make the most of your Scenes in 2019. Happy to chat about my favourite subject!  Best wishes for a great 2019.

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