Work Smarter, Not Harder…Repurpose Content

Working in education, we have all heard the phrase “work smarter, not harder.” It’s easy to talk about, but not always easy to implement. If your district is like ours, your communications department is small and there is usually more work than time, so working smarter is key.

While in college, I learned about the marketing rule of seven: individuals have to see your message at least seven times before they will remember it. I don’t think it is the number that really matters; it is more about the meaning. Individuals need to see your message multiple times in multiple formats to remember it.

In order accomplish this; our district makes a point to repurpose content. Our philosophy is simple: when we write something to put out to our audiences, it has to be used in a least five different places. By doing this, we are saving time and we are reaching our audiences via multiple communication channels.

For example, we might write a short new release about an upcoming play at one of our high schools. We distribute it to the media, we then include the same information on our district website announcements, in the parent e-newsletter, in school e-newsletters, in the staff e-newsletter, on our mobile app, on Facebook, on Twitter and in our monthly youth activities publication. By writing one story and repurposing it, we reach our audiences via 10 communication channels.

Here are some tips on repurposing content:

  • Write content so it can be used in multiple formats, exactly as it is or changed only slightly.
  • Write content so it is a quick, easy read. Readers want quick, short blurbs they can scan on their mobile devices, not long, complicated reads.
  • Stagger the timing of your messages. Sending the same message out via five different communication channels at the same exact time probably isn’t as effective as sending it out in five different ways at staggered times.

One Reply to “Work Smarter, Not Harder…Repurpose Content”

  1. Nice post, Kala. I agree completely. Multiple channels are crucial and I’ve found that sometimes you can tweak the message with the same intent and get effective responses. In other words, even using the same channel, you can send multiple messages that have the same outcome, but are delivered a little differently.

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