Nonprofits have always had many content buckets that needed to be filled regularly, from print newsletters and other direct mail to reports for boards and funders. Then came along your website and email newsletter. And now, with social media, you may be producing content for a blog, video channel, Flickr group, podcast, Twitter feed and Facebook page.
It can feel like you are trapped inside those buckets with little hope of ever getting out, especially if you are working under the illusion that everything you create has to be 100% original content.
All people who produce content for a living, whether they are writers, musicians, artists, or nonprofit communicators repurpose their content. No one produces completely original content all the time.
I suggest you start with a 50-50 balance and adjust from there. Half of what you give to your supporters through various communications channels (or put in those buckets) will be brand-spanking-new content. The other half will be remixed in some way.
Here are seven of the best ways to repurpose content.
Use a different channel. If you’ve written a blog post, is there something you can do with that elsewhere? Three short blog posts can be combined into one longer newsletter article. You can use a top 10 list you published in your email newsletter as a starting point for a video script.
Edit for a different audience. Also think about your different audiences and how you can put a slightly different spin on existing content to make it more relevant to a different segment of your audience.
Make short stuff longer. If you started with a 200 word blog post or even a quick tweet or Facebook update, flesh that out into a newsletter article by adding some examples. Add more descriptive details, get quotes from people, or share opposing points of view.
Make long stuff shorter. Pull the headline and use it as a status update. Reduce your paragraphs to bullet points. Publish a teaser and link back to the longer piece.
Change the lead. Simply start the article in a whole new way. Move something that was lower down in the article to the top. If you didn’t use a quote in the first paragraph before, use one now. Open with a trend or other big-picture explanation.
Change the perspective. You can also change the perspective, so you tell the same story, but from a slightly different point of view. Maybe you’re talking about three people who your organization has worked with and you’re emphasizing one of them. Tell the same basic story, but just emphasize the other person in the story this time.
Change the format. Start with live audio, and record it as a podcast, video or webinar recording. Have the recorded audio transcribed. Pull text from that. If you’ve written a how-to article, turn it into a top ten list. If you’ve written a top ten list about how to do something, rewrite it as an opinion piece or as a review.
This is how you reuse, repurpose, and remix your content — and save time and your sanity.
Like this post? Join us tomorrow, May 25, 2011, for Creating Awesome Content: Ideas for Nonprofit Writers.