What I learned about content in fall 2015

In my previous post, I mentioned that I took two courses in fall 2015. Here I’m going to talk about the longer one, “Storytelling and Content Strategy.” The course is part of a professional certificate in Storytelling and Content Strategy, which I’m taking through spring 2016.

The storytelling course was a full quarter long (10 weeks). It met online but was live, meaning that you had to be logged in at the right time in order to participate through the comments window. It was a great solution to two problems. On the one hand, even if you’re local (and several classmates were not), it’s hard to get across town for an in-person class in the evening after work. On the other hand, I’ve taken a non-interactive online class through Coursera, and I found that it was hard to stay focused after the first few weeks; I hear this is a common problem. So I thought the online-but-live approach was a good solution to both problems.

Our instructor, Tizzy Asher, was great. It’s odd because I don’t think I’d recognize her on the street, but I felt her enthusiasm for the subject and for sharing it with all of us. We learned so much:

  • the elements of story
  • how to find the story (which I think has changed the way that all of us interact with media and content)
  • analyzing content with the simple but powerful Think-Feel-Do framework
  • The BJ Fogg framework for how content can drive behavior change
  • storyboarding
  • developing voice and tone guides
  • channels
  • presenting your work

And Tizzy found great guest speakers for subjects like guerrilla user research, visual content, enterprise content strategy, and social media.

It’s been a long time since I’ve felt so engaged with a course, and I recommend it whole-heartedly to anyone who works with content.

My teammates and I collaborated throughout the quarter on a content proposal for Fitbit Premium, a paid membership for Fitbit users that gives you access to additional data and content. Our group proposal was to deliver content of such high value that it would boost conversion, along with perception and engagement. We put a tremendous amount of thought into it, and I feel proud of the work we did. You can view our presentation slide deck as a PDF, and I believe the recording of our final class (in which each team gave a presentation) is publicly viewable; my teammate Felicia gave our presentation, starting at 1:16.

Group teammates on LinkedIn:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s