Steve Fisher talks with Meghan Casey of Brain Traffic about her upcoming talk at The 2016 Design & Content Conference. We also hear about Confab Central the conference where Steve (and a lot of us) found his content strategy community.
Steve Fisher: Hi. We’re here today with Meghan Casey from Brain traffic. I’m very excited today about what she has to share with us. Let’s just get right into it. Meghan, why don’t you introduce yourself to the DCC crowd.
Meghan Casey: Great. Hello everybody. I’m really excited to have secured this spot at this conference. I love the fact that we’re talking about the intersection between design and content, a really important topic to me. I’m Meghan Casey and I am a lead content strategist at Brain Traffic. We’ve been doing content strategy, or some form of content strategy, since the early 2000s and I actually started working here in 2008, just before Content Strategy for the Web was released to the world in 2009. Really excited to talk to you guys and see what everyone else has to say about these cool topics.
Steve: That’s great. I got to say… Confab, which your company puts on and runs, is the moment that connected me broadly to the content strategy community, and where I realized, “Oh, I’m not alone.” It’s fantastic event.
Meghan: Yes. Your fellow people!
Steve: Yeah, and everyone should check it out. We’ll post a link to it and the notes for this afterwards. Because that’s coming up fairly soon I think, in about six weeks?
Meghan: Yes, that is in May, the 18th, 19th, and 20th. If you can’t make it to Vancouver, consider coming to Minneapolis.
Steve: That’s great time to go to Minneapolis too.
Meghan: Yeah, it is [laughter].
Steve: You’re doing a talk at the conference. If you could share a little bit about what that will be about, what people can expect, and what you’re excited about talking about there.
Meghan: Sure. This is a talk that I have kind of been working on for a little while and it’s been in a few forms and I’ve actually been working with speaking coach to sort of make sure I can deliver this the best way possible for the people who are there. A couple of things that I think really important to call out about the talk is, one is that really is trying to recognize that everybody working in content and designing content is doing the best that they can with what they have and what they have access to, and the stakeholders they’re working with and all of those things.
The real focus of the talk is to one, recognize that we’re doing the best that we can, but we can do better if we stop and think and get everybody aligned on a strategy for their content because that strategy informs the content itself and the way that the content is designed, organized and displayed. So really thinking about how do we get everybody on the same page about what are your business objectives? How can content help support them? Who are we really trying to reach and why is it important to reach the audience.
I’ll start out really talking about my definition of content strategy which is that content strategy helps us provide the right content to the right people at the right times and for the right reasons. This talk is really all about figuring out, what are those right reasons and then how do we shape what we do with content around them.
Steve: That sounds great. I know that when our speaker selection group was going through it they were like, “Wow. This is going to be such an impactful and useful talk to the audience.”
Meghan: Hope so. [Laughter] That will be my goal.
Steve: Yeah. That’s great. I think it probably ties in pretty well with your book, The Content Strategy Tool Kit. Why don’t you tell everyone a little bit about that actually?
Meghan: Yeah, cool. I actually have a copy right here.
Steve: Nice, totally prepared [laughter].
Meghan: What’s funny about this is I keep giving my copy away, so I actually autographed this one [laughter] for myself, and said, “Dear Meghan, you are amazing. Enjoy, Meghan.” Because I kept giving it away and I wanted to make sure [chuckle] I saved one. The thing about the Tool Kit is that it is always by my side, not because I was going to be doing this, because I reference it almost every day. Which I think probably says something about its values for practitioners that it has a lot of stuff in it that I just need to kind of think about in reference on day to day basis. I think that other people have found out that to be true as well.
The other really cool thing about it—and we talk about like ten of these in my talk—is it has a whole bunch of downloadable tools that people can download and start with and start using right away to help work on their content. Thanks for giving me a chance to plug the book [chuckles].
Steve: It’s great; people should be checking it out. I think you mentioned before that you’ve never been to Vancouver. I know you’ve been kind of close because we saw each other last year in Oregon, but…
Steve: But not quite this far north.
Steve: So tell us something that you are excited about coming to Vancouver this summer?
Meghan: I’m excited about a couple of things. One is just I love going places I’ve never been before and I love that part of the landscape, I was going to say the country, but you’re Canada, so it’s not…
Steve: We don’t have Donald Trump here, so [chuckles].
Meghan: Yes exactly. A couple of things I’m excited about, that actually is one of them. I figured out if Canada is a place I want to move to, if Donald Trump becomes president. Second, when I go in new places one of the things I really like to do is try to experience it like a local, and knowing you and Shannon I feel like I’ll get some great recommendations for places to go to really see what it’s like if you actually live there. I’m not a very too risky person, so I want to check out cool bars and great restaurants, but stuff that might be a little off the tourist path.
Steve: We definitely both the touristy side of things but then lots of other things and you’ll be right in the heart of that with the conference venue in historic gas town.
Meghan: Yes, I’m excited for the venue too [chuckles]. Looks great.
Steve: Oh, great. It’s fantastic. Thanks so much Meghan for joining us today to this interview and we’re looking forward to seeing you this summer.
Meghan: All right, sounds great. Thanks Steve. We’ll see you soon.