Five Ways to Use Curated Opinion Pieces for Your Content Strategy : Newsday’s American Pharoah Op-ed Provides Enduring Value for Animal Welfare Activists
There are few (no?) effective branding campaigns today which don’t have a well planned stream of relevant, useful, or entertaining—in essence, highly shareable—content at their heart. To be effective, you need to tell your story well and in many ways. It’s widely accepted by now that social media continues to democratize the pursuit of mind share so that campaign success doesn't necessarily rest on the eyeballs you can buy anymore, so much as the eyeballs you can EARN with great content. That’s the first rule.
The second rule is that you need to build and curate an inventory of content that can contribute to that pipeline, because you can’t create it all yourself—and in a world filled with brilliant people with brilliant ideas, why would you even try? So we've launched an occasional series on how to build a content arsenal and use it as part of your larger communications strategy.
Today we consider the opinion piece, an important element of many content strategies—and this weekend provided a perfect example of an op-ed is so well written, so eloquent and packed with sound arguments, it should be snapped up by a broad community of interests and shared, discussed, and used for strategic communications purposes for the foreseeable future.
The op-ed, which ran in Long Island’s Newsday, is Most Horses Aren't as Lucky as American Pharoah by Wayne Pacelle, president and chief executive of The Humane Society of the United States.
This brilliant op-ed deftly made point after salient point about how we owe it to horses to end the horrors of the horse slaughter industry. It is a piece of enduring value to communities that love horses, those that work for animal welfare more broadly, and those in public policy who support those efforts.
So, if you’re active in any of these communities, how can you leverage this piece for your overall strategy?
First, you should have anticipated this and picked up this op-ed as well as numerous other pieces that ran this weekend—and if you didn't, think about setting up relevant Google alerts and putting together a content calendar that will help you anticipate the news of the day so you can leverage it effectively in the future; one of the key elements of share-ability is timeliness. Use this piece while we’re still a nation rightfully gushing over our misspelled Triple Crown winner.
Next, share this piece with your community on social media. Facebook is a likely channel for this share, but so is twitter and possibly LinkedIn— where you share this link should be based on your understanding of where your community is already engaged. (We’ll also provide more detailed advice this week how to get the most out of each tweet you share with your community.)
Blog about this piece with your own news angle. If you work for animal welfare, take this piece which supports your position and add your own content—perhaps a local story or initiative—and you have a highly relevant piece to share with your community. If you have larger activism or campaign goals, make sure you share your blog post on all relevant social channels and link back to your site, where you can continue the conversation with your community.
You may reference this piece in an action alert or e-newsletter. It’s an authoritative piece and it’s bound to spark conversation among those who already have awareness of this issue. Indeed, encouraging your community to share this with their communities is how momentum really gets going.
Post this as a news item on your Web site and encourage discussion and sharing.
And remember, in all instances, if you’re going to the trouble of curating content for your community, make sure you provide it directly to influencers—those in your community with a big social footprint, those in the press, elected officials, business and non-profit leaders.
The most effective campaigns today are integrated—they understand that audiences change platforms many times per hour and they aim to reach their community not just on a single platform, but on a number of relevant platforms throughout the day in order to stay top of mind.
Effective strategy, at its heart, is about finding a way to reach the right audience and tell your story regularly, on different platforms, with different kinds of content. Set your Google alerts on topics that are relevant to you to ensure that you don’t miss content like this op-ed—it can be a wonderful addition to your content inventory.
Oh, and ban the export of horses for slaughter. We’re better than that.
--Amy Wolfcale is the CEO of Falcon & Wolf, a managing partner at Thought Leadership Strategies, and a Professor of media relations and social media in the New York University School of Professional Studies graduate program in Strategic Communications, Marketing, and Media Management. She is also a writer and soccer mom.
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Amy Wolfcale is the CEO of Falcon + Wolf, a partner at Thought Leadership Strategies, and a Professor in the New York University Graduate School of Professional Studies, School of Strategic Communication, Marketing, and Media Management. She is also a writer and an actual (as opposed to demographically identifying) soccer mom. And she loves elephants.