What Tim Peake can teach you about content

Make sure your event coverage doesn’t get in the way of your message.

Tim Peake is a hero in the UK. He is the first British astronaut to go to space this millennium and his enthusiasm and sincerity have won him fans around the planet that he circled for 186 days before his return to earth.

The media coverage of Peake’s space adventure has been massive: thousands of hours of air time, countless yards of column inches. A whole lot of content. So what can one man’s extraordinary journey to the stars teach a humble content marketer?

Events attract attention

It can be easier to get attention if your content is linked to a specific happening or occasion. Not rocket science this one, but nonetheless important to note. Though the event itself should just be the start of things.

Sending a man to a space station was a massive event in the UK and the media swarmed over the story. Yet, now that Peake has returned, it is hard to see what lasting message came from all that coverage.

A host of children will have been switched on to science. They and their parents will have seen what great things can be accomplished with international cooperation. These are important achievements, and perhaps they are enough. But could there have been something more focussed, more substantial? A clear message about environmental responsibility, protecting resources or investing in global education? Or a repeated mantra about the global togetherness that put Peake into space. Loud and clear, not just inferred.

The point for content marketers is to not let the event itself become the story, the focus of the content. You may have organised the greatest conference your industry has ever seen, but the content arising should give your audiences something useful to take from it. If you’re going to blow your own trumpet, do it quietly and in the background.

And be extra careful if the event may not be of interest to your entire audience. You may be creating useful content around the event but if you don’t get the initial engagement it will all be for nought.

The team at Content Cloud recently worked with Reed Global, creating content around a business briefing and networking event. The event was aimed at IT managers but Reed considered their audience and objectives and ensured the content had an appeal beyond the technology sector.

Beyond public relations

Marketing strategy around events and content creation can often crossover with public relations. Tim Peake did not have control of the media outlets that shared his story. He did however choose broadly what he spoke about and how he spoke about it. Content marketers need to consider whether they need a clear message or objective linked to an event. This can then become a thread that runs through the event and beyond.

Managing content around events is clearly a fine balancing act. Should the event shout about what it is all about, or should it be allowed to take a back seat and allow the content that arises from it to do a job of work for the targeted audiences?

Of course it all depends on the event, those audiences, the content created and the channels being used to distribute that content. By taking an astronaut’s eye view we stand a chance of escaping the gravitational pull of the event itself and creating stellar results.

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