Business Advice

X – N? One letter makes all the difference

Content can not exist without context. Or, if it does, it risks being meaningless.

We build context when we build our brands. We set out the brand values, visions, mission statements etc to create a space that we not only operate in, but own as well.

Context is like an HTML tag. Or a novel’s dust jacket. Or a large cardboard box with “MY STUFF” written on the outside.

The context then sets the tone for the content, which should reference the over-arching brand positioning.

Content is literally put into context to create meaningful interactions and dialogue.

The danger of content without context is that it is left free-floating and meaningless.

It’s like manufactured press releases. We’ve all seen them – normally at silly season when most of the world is on holiday.

The stories that don’t really say anything at all, but still make the front pages.

That’s content with no real context.

Words for the sake of words.

Decontextualisation, if you will.

And the most damaging thing that can be done to your brand is decontextualisation, to have its content without context, left free floating and meaningless.

So for every time that we ask “Does this campaign deliver clear outcomes for the brand strategy, direction and bottom line?”, we should also ask:

“Is this content part of our context?”

And if the answer’s no, find content that is.


3 thoughts on “X – N? One letter makes all the difference

  1. Good post. Like the play on the two letters. But the question I would ask is, if I had someone creating content for me in my office, why wouldn’t I have started with the context in the first place?

    • Hi Tim

      You should always be starting with the context as you so rightly say. However, I do see quite a few communication examples where there’s no real context for the work. It’s cool for the sake of it, or it’s getting a PR out when there’s no real news.

      I think that some people get distracted by the cool and the shiny and that’s where context can fall away…


  2. Pingback: Where’s the content gone? « interacter

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