Content creators should have a manifesto
We’ve published our Content Manifesto online, partly so that our clients can see how we think and what’s important to us. But we’ve also published them so that other content creators can, should they choose, also use them as a creative ethos.
These are our values. As such, they’re opinion, not irrefutable fact. We’re open to contribution, comment and contradiction. Feel free to help us grow and improve the Content Manifesto. Use it. Repurpose it. If you contribute to it, we’ll credit you. If you use it, we’d be thrilled if you credit us.
Why have a manifesto? Why not just get on with the job of creating stuff?
Our view is that way too much content is created without the benefit of a belief system. Someone just sits down and types, draws or films. This is like a political party getting into office without a set of guiding values – without a published manifesto. Work would get done, sure, but it would lack direction and purpose. It wouldn’t be underpinned by a moral code. Team members would, at best, be ineffective, wasting time and energy by pulling in different directions. At worst, they would be radically at odds with each other, fuelling conflict.
Most importantly, the voters – in this case clients – wouldn’t know in advance what they’ll get for their money. Sure, they might know that they’re getting 1,500 words of copy, 10 photographs and a 1-minute video – but what does that really tell them? It tells them one thing only: that, after they commission something, it will exist. But what about its heart? What will drive its creation?
Content creators should be self-aware. They should know – and live by – a set of governing values. Those who work as a team should surely share the same values. We all do.
It’s equally important that clients know the values held by their content creators. Apart from the quality of the content itself, the content creators’ values are possibly the most important part of the selection criteria.
Content shouldn’t be random. It shouldn’t be vomited into existence. Just as it’s important for content to be part of a plan, it’s equally vital that it should be part of a belief system. Like political parties, belief systems can differ. That’s fine – and we’re not so arrogant as to propose that our way is the only way.
As we said, this is our opinion, not fact. Yet, it’s at the core of all we create. We want our clients to buy into the way we think, not just the metrics around project delivery.
It's our manifesto; our heart – and we wear it on our sleeve.