I learned about propinquity at the Solo PR Summit.
Okay, to be fair, the concept isn’t new–but I would have been hard-pressed to define the word itself. Propinquity means nearness, but it’s really about the relationship between proximity and relationships. Or, as Tom Martin put it:
See me. Know me. Like me. Hire me.
This lies at the heart of a good content strategy.
In a session entitled Painless Prospecting, Martin talked about strategies for becoming and staying top of mind with potential buyers of your products and services. One element of that is designing your Web site to funnel prospects where you want them to go. (That’s a topic for a different post.) Another element: having lots of quality content to educate people and to showcase your smarts.
You need to create cornerstones and cobblestones.
Martin pointed out that most content creators focus on cobblestones–blog posts, videos, podcasts, and other “one off” pieces to feed the content machine. But if you start with a “cornerstone” big idea instead, you can then chunk it into blog posts, videos, presentations, podcasts, and the like to feed your content needs. Then you can go back and reverse engineer the “cobblestones” into a white paper, an ebook and/or a conference presentation.
I love “duh” moments.
My content strategy has always included some cornerstones because I plotted the strategy a long way back: business column, then blog, then early social media use. The column provided evergreen content for the blog, and the blog provided an anchor for my early forays into social media. But as the demands for new content grew (and the business of running a business interrupted), it became easier to just focus on cobblestones. Now it’s time to get back to cornerstones, and my brain is already working on a couple of ideas.
Your turn: Are you creating cobblestones or cornerstones?
Photo by Bri Weldon (Flickr).