The power of community

Reflecting on my experience as an organiser of CS Forum Helsinki last year, there are several lessons I could expand on in detail. But I’d like to focus on one that rocked my world the most — the spirit of the content strategy community.

What content strategy is really about

Organising a CS Forum is like opening a gigantic window to the colourful world of content strategy. When establishing the program and figuring out the main seminar themes, one really needs to do their homework. Investigating questions like “What’s hot in content strategy and UX?”, you get to know the field — and people in it — profoundly.

Content strategy means different things to different people. Some strategists focus on the logic of how content operates in a website. For others, it’s more about finding the main communicational themes and setting roles for different publishing platforms. As an organizer you see a lot of the stone’s facets. I can truly say that I’ve learned a lot in this process.

Ask and they will come

We wanted a strong focus in our Helsinki program on successful content strategy and content marketing case studies. When finding speakers, we not only approached people from the content strategy community, but from a wide range of international companies. We reached out to several who we wanted in the program, whose articles or public speaking had impressed us in some way. It wasn’t that difficult — only requiring the time to connect and make it happen.

We found a way to contact everyone we wanted to, and they were all extremely positive about speaking at our event, far away in the Nordics. I think it’s safe to say that people will take part in something you believe in. So think big when looking for inspirational speakers!

Trust and the importance of sharing knowledge

As a multidisciplinary practice, content strategy attracts a lot of professional interest from consultants, experts, and talented people the world over. Content strategy’s community is remarkably active.

I attended CS Forum 2011 in London and what blew me away the most was the sense of community the Forum represented. It’s not to be taken for granted that people working in somewhat competitive roles would be eager to gather together and share their expertise and knowledge. In this respect, CS Forum really stands out. There’s a great sense of trust between people, and it was easy to bring same atmosphere to Helsinki.

At the end of the day, the field of content strategy was born to reassure better communication. From my experience hosting a CSF event, I can honestly say the community has the same state of mind.

If you didn’t attend our Helsinki event last year, checkout our conference Flickr sets that capture the community spirit. If you’ve never been to a CSF conference at all, you owe yourself the reward and pleasure of going in July, when CSF 2014 takes place in beautiful Frankfurt, Germany under the theme — Content Connects. I’ll see you there!