Why I run a content strategy meetup

I have been running the Sydney Content Strategy meetup - a fantastic forum to talk about all things content strategy and content governance - since 2011. I founded the meetup with my very good friend Robyn Ball. 

As two content professionals who were virtually the sole voices for digital content in our organisations, we were seeking a place to talk about content with people who really knew what they were talking about and who also wanted to learn more.

There are three main reasons why I love running the Sydney Content Strategy Meetup:

The August 2014 Sydney Content Strategy meetup

The August 2014 Sydney Content Strategy meetup

1. To talk about content strategy with people who really get it

Working in content strategy is a very rewarding job, but it can also be a very isolated job. Unless I am working on a very large project, I am usually the sole content strategist. This is great - it gives me autonomy, flexibility and places me firmly in a leadership position, but it can also be a bit of a struggle sometimes. Content advocacy is a large part of what I do and sometimes convincing other members of a project why content is so important can be harder than it should be.  

The people who come to the Sydney Content Strategy meetup know content is important and more importantly they know why. They just get it. It is fantastic to talk to other like minded professionals about what works and what doesn't. And did I mention we have lots of fun. Check out the photos from the August 2014 Sydney Content Strategy meeting to see what I mean :)

2. To raise the profile of content strategy in Sydney

Content Strategy is now a familiar role in the Sydney digital scene, but back in 2011 it was less so. Even now I would argue that Content strategy is not fully understood, even amongst some of its practitioners. Even the most high profile content strategists talk about the ambiguity of the profession. I am quite comfortable with this - in fact I really like the honesty of that approach. Content strategists use a range of techniques and tactics that are custom fit for each scenario. It is appropriate that these change over time and to borrow from the practise of user experience, are iterated in an upwards cycle of improvement.

The meetup helps practitioners and clients alike get a better sense of what content strategy is and what it’s benefits are.

The February 2014 Content Strategy meetup

The February 2014 Content Strategy meetup

3. To learn more about content strategy

Each meetup focuses on something new, for example, analytics, content modelling, content workflow, stakeholder communication, alternative distribution methods and content syndication. The presentations about these topics and subsequent discussions are always illuminating. I learn something new at every meetup. 

Sometimes people come to the meetup thinking that content strategy is synonymous with content marketing or editorial. Of course there are synergies there, but really they are very different. A recurring theme at the meetup is the differences between these disciplines.

If you are in Sydney and would like to talk about content strategy, please come along to the meetup. The details are on the Sydney Content Strategy Meetup website.