Repurposing people back into content creation
Whenever I meet with new clients or interview people for articles in business newspapers, I always spot more than one idea or story that could be covered or written about. Always.
Writers are curious and we spend our lives looking at details and nuances that do not concern other people. I sometimes wonder what it must be like not to have write about so much that I observe. It must be a relaxing way to be.
There’s much discussion and promotion of repurposing content. What is that? It is the breaking down of content into chunks so that it can be combined and re-used in various situations and formats. Sometimes it’s very effective. The white space is filled but sometimes I get the feeling that human characteristics and quirks seem repurposed out of the equation to the point of becoming beige generic.
I spent many years working as a journalist for the Financial Times and other newspapers. We would update and reposition stories according to their currency, and against competing stories, for different formats and editions all over the world. We also had to operate with pagination restraints depending on the number of advertisements sold. Remember that?
Newsrooms are the engine rooms of repurposing content. I remember the end of the Cold War when every night the story was developing across Eastern Europe. Berlin, anyone? As the editions were rejigged and updated, it was probably the most interesting repurposing of content that I am ever likely to encounter.
Writers and journalists are the original re-purposers of content. Writers have always taken parts from this and that story and seeing other spots where they can go. Then we add details and nuances. We put people into the story. It is bespoke repurposing of content complete with people. That is the purpose.