Content is king, still is. The need for useful information is still there, although readers are increasingly bombarded with both textual and audio-visual content today. While the attention span of some readers may be short and require short-form writing, there are other readers who desire long-form writing. What should we do? Do both.
Mainstream newspapers and magazines have traditionally been long-form stalwarts, with lengthy features that are written with flair and authority, populated by fact-checked background information and facts. Today, newspaper content have become more succinct, catering to the fast-moving lifestyles of people today. Magazines on the other hand, at least the thriving big names, have stuck to the long-form writing that readers are used to and demand. Above print versions, mainstream newspapers and magazines have also gone online and mobile, with abstracts and specially condensed versions of their articles catering to online and mobile users.
The surge in short messaging platforms such as Twitter and to some degree, Facebook, have also created a whole new genre of short-form writing, whether from journalists, bloggers or even individuals alike. Today, everyone with a cell phone, a tablet, or a computer, can claim to be a writer of some kind. Everyone seems to at least have a small, and sometimes larger readership. The concept of media has shifted its gravity from mainstream big names, to a whole new ecosystem that is enlivened by blogs, emerging online media, tweets and short posts.
No two readers are alike, and that certainly creates a new level of complexity and more work for the information publisher. Some like writings short, some like them long and elaborate.
Therefore, while we acknowledge content is king, we need to create content that target readers with different preferences in terms of brevity and length. It is certainly not impossible. The trick is to have writers target the long-form articles first, and then have someone condense the writings down to target short-form platforms such as blogs and mobile apps.
One size does not fit all, especially in the scenario of large multinational corporations with cross-border brands. More work is demanded of the information publisher and his team, and the time is now. If you need folks to help you out with original content with flair and substance, talk to us.
Dr Seamus Phan is the Head of Content and CTO at McGallen & Bolden. He is an expert in branding, marketing, communication, leadership training, crisis management, and entrepreneurship. This article may appear concurrently on his blog. Connect on LinkedIn. ©1984-2018 Seamus Phan et al. All rights reserved.