How Research-Driven Organizations Become Thought Leaders

What About a Flying Aspidistra?

Should you do an interactive/video/podcast/other piece of shiny content to promote that new important research-driven project?

First: who’s the content be for? Who are your audiences? Are those the same as your strategic audiences? Why not?

Second: does it answer a question those audiences have, in a way they want it answered? (Asked another way: how do you even know they want your thing?)

Third: can you get the content in front of them? For real — no spray and pray. Do you have the networks?

Fourth: for the cost of the thing, what else could you do that could make a similar or bigger impact with those audiences? A one-day event, for instance?

Content is always expensive — time, resources, cognitive load, opportunity-cost — even when it seems free.

So when you’re contemplating making content that would actually cost you budget, it pays to be skeptical and entertain counterfactuals.

The most important part of content isn’t the format. The most important parts are a) how good it is — how fresh, how insightful, how persuasive; b) whether it answers the right questions for the right people; and c) whether you already have the right people paying attention to you, or can get those quickly.