The Kinko-fication of the Content Function

Photo of a grassy area

When content (which is defined broadly as text, videos, images, status updates) is viewed as a commodity, then guess what happens to the people providing the content? In the eyes of the parent organization, these producers become nothing more than copy shop employees cranking out 175 photocopies a minute. The focus is on speed of production (I need this tomorrow) and volume of output (I need 8 Tweets a day) rather than strategy and effectiveness (Will this help us sell our services to prospects? Will this increase our click-through rate?)

Commoditization of content makes it easier to walk up to your content team and demand a deliverable in two days’ time with no prior planning, warning or process. Doesn’t sound right? Hush now, Mr.Cog-in-the-Machine. After all, “Shock and Aww” is as much a battle tactic as it is evidence that a utilitarian mindset is in place.

“I’m SHOCKED that you’re demanding an email campaign, landing page and intranet banner in less than a week!”

AWW, you’ll get over it.”

My point is simple: if you invite content producers to planning meetings and kickoff calls to get our input, great! We can plan for, and create content that gets the job done, in a reasonable amount of time, no sweat. But if you persevere in The Kinko-fication of the Content Function, then expect crappy, copy/pasted output, a “who cares” attitude, and an overall lack of motivation leading to the exodus of your top performers. (Not to mention a whole lot of whispered jokes about hairy body parts.)

Also, expect your content team to decline your next few meeting requests. You won’t want to hear their strategy anyway, so why waste their time at a meeting? They could be more productive finishing the 10 new website pages you ordered only yesterday. Or filling up a job application at a place that better values their input.

IMAGE CREDITS: The Kinko-fication of the Content Function, a.k.a. The Red Worker, with additional text caption.


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