Digital Signposts: Communications Strategy vs. Content Strategy

In corporate communications, confusion often looms between the terms content strategy and communications strategy. 7/28/2014 7:03 AM Eastern

In corporate communications, confusion often looms between the terms content strategy and communications strategy. Therefore, when pitching channel solutions to enterprise clients, it becomes important for integrators to fully appreciate the nuances and subtleties between the two terms. This ensures that proposed products and services are the right fit for clients’ overall strategic objectives. Integrators should also remember that hardware and software solutions put forward are only delivery mechanisms meant for ensuring that media-rich messaging successfully reaches stakeholders at the right time. Integrators who are empathic to their client’s editorial needs will gain an edge not only over competitors but also in ensuring that projects are flawlessly delivered.

The corporate communications strategy is the over-arching umbrella that is designed to communicate the enterprise’s positioning and business goals. This includes areas such as public relations, marketing, advertising, internal and external communications, social media, government relations, media relations, and crisis management. All of these areas need to speak with the same tone and voice—and that’s where the content strategy comes in.

Content strategy refers to the deployment of editorial or information elements that move the communications strategy forward. In practical terms, content strategy describes the elements used and how various messaging is crafted. This can include photo or image styles, writing tone, the overall “look” of video productions, and graphic design sensibilities. An essential part of the content strategy is also deciding what works and what doesn’t, meaning that content cannot simply be spontaneously delivered. Instead, effective content requires development, testing, crafting, and appropriate approvals. Therefore, providing clients with tools that can consistently and efficiently carry out quality content that is in sync with overall communications strategies becomes vitally important.

Vern Freedlander is vice president of production services for Montréal-based X2O Media, a full-service provider of technology, network management and content services for professional digital signage applications. With more than 20 years of broadcast television experience as a producer, director, and executive, Freedlander oversees all of X2O Media’s content initiatives. He can be reached at

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