Written by Deb Smyth on May 18, 2012
in Content Strategy

My head hurts. The 2012 Confab Conference was chock-full of so much content strategy information, insights and ATSTBTs — anagrams that start to blend together — I may need a few days *cough*months*cough* to process it all.

If I had to choose one session that really stood out to me, however, it was “The Art of the Quest: How Your Mission Drives Your Content,” presented by Matt Thompson, Editorial Product Manager, Project Argo, NPR.

To me, “content” — or “contents” as one speaker accurately put it — is ultimately about telling stories, and that’s what Matt’s talk was all about.

He used Joseph Campbell’s writings on quest archetypes to illustrate how this primal storytelling structure can be used to develop your voice, content architecture and strategy, and hook a digital audience.

It got me thinking that the same storytelling elements could also be used to describe content strategy development itself:

The Quest Object
  = The ultimate content plan that keeps audiences coming back for more.

The Hero = Ariad, of course.

The Call to Adventure = Client briefing.

Gathering the Team = Kick-off meeting.

Planning the Quest = Using the content strategy toolkit (personas, mapping, etc.).

Then, once the quest’s key secret is discovered — sell  the question, not the answer; sell the mission not the product — the hero finds the quest object within grasp.

And the content strategists live happily ever after.

The End.


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