Web sites need scripts, too

It’s old (well, SIX MONTHS old, which is, like, a BILLION YEARS in Web time) but I stumbled across a great quote from the illustrious Karen McGrane that sort of sums up why I’m so goofy excited about the idea of words – and other content – getting some real mainstream attention on the Web (and why I’m so surprised it hasn’t happened sooner).

“We’ve spent the last 5-10 years on the web just figuring out how to build a printing press….great…now, look at any other great media property and what goes into making that great media property. The same thing has to happen online.”

-Karen McGrane, speaking at Atlanta Showcase, September 2009

And upon reading that, I remembered my own thought – something that came to light in MY OWN HEAD. It’s one thing to say “let’s do this, because it’s obvious you guys,” but, let’s face it, there are still a lot of people – people in a position of budget allocation – who don’t get why we need to worry about Web words and content.

In other words, when put into a position where we’re forced to explain the importance of content strategy to a Web client who just doesn’t “get it,” we need to develop real world examples and comparisons that resonate with a traditional marketing mindset.

Because these people probably aren’t Web people. They’re marketing people. They’ve taken a class, you know, and they’ve been raised on television and print and direct mail and why do they need a Web content strategy when all the words they could possibly require are already on this brochure that their niece designed seven years ago.

Put it in their terms.

Compare it to television.

Every Web site is like a major television commercial shoot. There’s a director who drives production – the programmer – and there’s a videographer who can make everything look beautiful – the designer. And on equal level, there’s the writer who penned the script and set the initial mood.

This script writer? That’s your content strategy team.

Would you spend $100,000 – or even $1,000! – on a television commercial, but skip the script?

Of course not.

So why do it with a Web site?

And suddenly, things begin getting a little clearer.

(McGrane quote via Leen Jones, who is also illustrious when it comes to that content strategy biz-ness.)

(Originally posted at Black Marks on Wood Pulp.)