Rahel Anne Bailie: The Content Empress – Episode 86
Rahel Anne Bailie Rahel Anne Bailie has earned the title Content Empress. One of the original cohort of content strategists, over the past couple of decades she has become a leading expert on content operations. While she focuses on content, she might better be described as a business analyst and consultant who helps companies with their digital transformation. We talked about: her title of "Content Empress" and its origins, as well as its convenient over-arching-ness for the many roles she has served the first time she was called a "content strategist" in 2002, long before it was a popular term her take on the difference between content strategy and content design the difficulty of explaining how a content strategist differs from a content creator her recent blog post on the history of content strategy how complexity drives the need for content strategy the origins in stories of old computer manuals of how she thinks about modular content the two sides of content: copy plus the technical things that give it more power the importance of content models in a flexible, agile content system structured authoring for complex environments the devolution of product user-interface content - e.g., the loss of single sourcing as UI content moved from the tech comms department to product teams single sourcing, the idea of a single source of content truth, and how it's a bit of a lost art how PayPal was able to respond quickly to their customer's needs during the pandemic because of the agility afforded by their use of single-sourcing how to sell content strategy: you have to focus on cost savings, not ROI, and the importance of accounting for all of the costs your content incurs the equation that underlies "information enablement": content + data = information the importance of understanding the fundamental nature of content, especially being able to explain it to technologists, who tend to focus on the shiny new stuff over the boring proven stuff the dearth of educational sources for learning content strategy her work with the Content Strategy Alliance on their new content strategy curriculum and their efforts to create a certification program her take on the future of content strategy: more complexity around personalization, growth, scale, and other big issues driving the need for better strategies and plans the importance of content even in systems that don't appear at first to be content-driven her big aha! moment that content strategy is useless with its operationalization Rahel's bio Founder of Content, Seriously, a London, UK based consultancy. Seasoned consultant developing content strategies for efficient and effective content operations. Instructor in FH-Joanneum's Content Strategy Master's Programme in Austria. Co-author of "Content Strategy: Connecting the dots between business, brand, and benefits" and "The Language of Content Strategy"; contributor to several other books. Over 30 years of experience in content, including corporate communications, technical communication, localization management, and content strategy. Lover of gin, Scrabble, and dancing. Follow Rahel on social media Twitter SlideShare Medium LinkedIn Video Here’s the video version of our conversation: https://youtu.be/NdA8PnZacWI Podcast intro In a field that struggles with what to call itself and how to assign labels to its practitioners, Rahel Bailie has carved out a unique role for herself: Content Empress. The title started as a joke - and as a way distinguish her from a student who had already claimed the title Content Queen. But it truly fits. Rahel was one of the very first content folks to identify as a content strategist. She has pioneered many modern content practices. And she is widely regarded as the world's leading expert on content operations. Interview transcript Larry: Hi, everyone. Welcome to episode number 86 of the Content Strategy...