What’s your content manifesto?

For reasons not always clear, companies continue to push content out unmoored by a content strategy. 

This is baffling. If valuable time is going to be spent producing, why not have a plan in place to shape it, distribute it and measure its effectiveness?

If your company can be counted among the strategy-starved—and you are in need of some inspiration—keep your eye on Axios, a new media company slated to launch next month that will cover media trends, tech, business and politics. 

Starting a new media company in 2017 sounds…well, challenging, but its founders know a thing or two about what makes great content and how to deliver it. Studying their execution will be worth it.

Before Axios, Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen co-founded Politico. The latter, of course, made the Playbook newsletter essential reading for Washington insiders.

While it has not officially launched, Axios has given some clues about its strategy, which are embedded in its manifesto.

I admit I’m a sucker for manifestos with their "conquer-the-world" language. But in addition to inspiration, creating manifestos encourage critical thinking—which is exactly what’s needed to create a content strategy in 2017. What are you trying to accomplish with your content? What will distinguish the content from what’s already out there? What does success look like?

After a preamble about their views on the media, Axios’ manifesto declares its mission: “Deliver the cleanest, smartest, most efficient and trust-worthy experience for readers and advertisers alike.”

It also explains its core principles. Among them: Excellence Always, Smart Brevity, and Elegant Efficiency

I particularly like Reader First: “Every piece of content we produce will be broken and narrated with true expertise, and then summarized in one shareable element. You can decide whether to go deeper. Often, there’s no need. We have one agenda: help people get smarter, faster.”

Not bad. If a content-strategy is on your 2017 to-do list, a content manifesto is a good place to start.

Andrew Longstreth is the Head Writer at Infinite Global, based in New York. He creates custom content for law firms and advises on PR strategies. Andrew can be reached at andrewl@infiniteglobal.com.

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