Two Camps – and no conference

I hope you had a good start into 2015 and wanted to give you a short wrap up on some of the activities we’ve planned for this year.

We’re starting with news that might sound sad, but isn’t. There will be no Content Strategy Forum Conference in 2015. However, CS Forum has three organizer bids for 2016 from three different regions of the world already, so our journey continues. You can read more on that in this post in the Google+ group of the CS Forum.

After having organized the CSF2014, we at Script Communications continue to grow the field of Content Strategy. Part of our efforts is to identify interesting gatherings (and sometime even organize them). Here are some ideas for your travel schedule in 2015.

“Content counts” – Content Strategy Camp on 12/13th June in Darmstadt-Dieburg


For the third year in a row we have teamed up with our friends at University of Applied Sciences Darmstadt and will be organizing the Content Strategy Camp (#cosca15). This year the motto will be “Content Counts.” In 2013 we started with “Content Connects“, followed by “Content Everywhere“ last year. Now that we are all connected and know that we are surrounded by Content, it’s high time to discuss the economic aspects and measurable effects of our discipline.

The good news: Staying true to the BarCamp idea, tickets are free and the program is what you make of it. You’ll find everything you need to know about #cosca15 on our website at: And while most of the information on the website is in German, don’t hesitate to come even if your native language is not German. We’re all speaking a pretty decent bad English and are looking forward to have you with us. All in all we have 200 tickets and you can book them here:

Content Commerce Camp on 11/12th May in Leipzig

One month earlier you have the chance to dig into the connections between Content Strategy and eCommerce at the Content Commerce Camp in Leipzig. Udo Butschinek from Zimmer 19 is organizing the event parallel with the MeetMagento Conference.

Re-live CS Forum 2014 – on video

Finally, if you want to re-live the spirit of CSF2014 and haven’t watched the recordings of almost every talk, please do so on our YouTube-page at:

Thanks for your time and see you around.

See you soon, content strategists!

Content Strategy Forum 2014 is over – time for us, the PR students at Hochschule Darmstadt, to take stock of what we heard, did and learned in the last few days.

Studying Public Relations at Hochschule Darmstadt means participating in a new practical project each semester. Fourteen of us chose to take over communications at CSForum14 to learn more about event management and, of course, content strategy. For some of us, it was the first time doing live communications for an event and some were already experienced in doing so, but it is safe to say that each and everyone of us gained new insights and learned a lot. From storytelling to story doing, from content creation to content marketing and from a packet of crackers to cracker crumbs – we were reminded that content strategy is a huge field and that there’s a million different approaches to it. According to #csforum14, not only we as students but also most participants take away new ideas and inspirations from the conference.

We are happy to hear that the conference hashtag was trending on Twitter and hope that we did a good job with maintaining the official Twitter account @CSF_Frankfurt, the blog and the Storify account. Thank you to all organizers and attendees for making CSForum14 such a successful and inspiring event.

I for one am looking forward to working in such an exciting field and am eager to attend events like Content Strategy Forum in the future to be inspired and maybe to inspire others as well.

So long, content strategists, and see you soon!

Written by Gina Kliche (@hey_gina_k)

Alyssa Jada McDonald-Baertl: Courage vs. Certainty, how compassion means more than perfection. Lessons from a chocolate company.

Alyssa Jade McDonald-Baertl held an inspiring speech named Courage vs. Certainty. Her first words: “I would like to ask you not to tweet or make notes.” That was very uncommon for an event that thrived on live blogging and tweeting.  It was unfortunate for those who couldn’t attend the talk, but then again it was actually quite relaxing. It gave us the chance to really listen without the constant urge to think about “How could I put this into 140 characters?”

The story Alyssa Jade McDonald-Baertl was about to tell was about herself and the ups and downs of her chocolate company called Blyss. She started with a deep insight into her childhood, how she grew up on a farm in Papua New Guinea and how her family moved to Australia to adapt to the industrial lifestyle. Her struggle with the family traditions and the wish to be part of the modern world lead her to a different path than her family probably wanted. It was a lot about fitting in, to comply with the rules of society and a lot about profit and luxury. Due to many encounters with loss and tragedy she finally struck a new path and founded Blyss. She still tried to fulfill the expectations made by society and thought being successful meant to be part of the elite. After becoming insolvent two times and being almost ruined, she changed course.

Some of her life-changing lessons were the following:

1.       We are in great fear of being rejected. Everyone. We try to numb those bad feelings. But we can’t just exclude these feelings without affecting our good feelings, too. We can’t be fearless and passionate on the same time.  By numbing our feelings we’re losing our purpose and that is not what we should want to achieve.

2.       We can’t truly connect with others without revealing ourselves including our fears and weakness. We have to bare our vulnerability for the purpose of building a sincere relationship with each other.

3.       Don’t say you are certain everything is going to be perfect. You can never be a hundred percent sure of anything. Instead of saying: “I can do everything that you’d like me to do.” say what you really can do and what you actually can’t. Stand up for your weakness as well as your strength; people will appreciate your honesty.

The only slide everyone photographed at the end - 10 Part to living whole from Brene Brown

The only slide everyone photographed at the end – 10 Part to living whole from Brene Brown

A lot of those principles were originally from the academic vulnerability studies from Dr Brene Brown, but drawing the parallels with her own experiences made them even truer. It was unfortunate that only a few people could take away those inspiring life lessons but it was still worth it. And the best part: We got to try her chocolate.

written by Lea Pfeiffer (@_LeaPfeiffer)

Video interview with Tapio Liller

“Budget like an online marketer, write like a journalist.” – that’s only one lesson Tapio Liller passed on during his speech about the barriers and pitfalls of the B2B online magazine Curtalo. We asked him what agencies should consider when developing a similar project, what challenges and problems could come up and how to solve them the best way.



produced by Lea Pfeiffer (@_LeaPfeiffer) and Vanessa Stern (@vanessadstern

Video interview with Hilary Marsh

Many companies still rely on their traditional ways of doing things. They believe in the certainty and value of their long-established methods and fear the unstable new ones. “That’s the way we’ve always done it.”, is the all too familiar motto. But that doesn’t mean there is no room or need for change. Sometimes all it needs is a little persuasion – and suddenly tons of possibilities might open up for you.

In her talk about Managing the Politics of Content Hilary Marsh explained how to persuade a company to change and what chances lie ahead in giving new methods a try. In the following interview we asked her for advice on how to make this happening.


produced by Lea Pfeiffer (@_LeaPfeiffer) and Vanessa Stern (@vanessadstern)

Video Interview with Prof. Dr. Klaus Meier

Klaus Meier teaches journalism at Catholic University Eichstätt-Ingolstadt and researches on editorial management, online journalism and covergence among other topics. With his presentation “Innovating the Newsroom” he gave an interesting insight into his work on newsrooms.

produced by Svenja Klassert (@Klasserts) Lea Pfeiffer (@_LeaPfeiffer) and Vanessa Stern  (@vanessadstern)

Video Interview with Robert Stulle

Robert Stulle of Edenspiekermann held an interesting speech about what designers do and how they can possibly give content relevance and shape experiences. 

Designers can give content wings and make it “fly”. We asked Robert Stulle if  agile working is the reason for Edenspiekermanns great creativity and what in his opinion would be the future “normal” if it comes to content strategy.

produced by Vanessa Stern (@vanessadstern) and Nathalia Traxel (@NathisTraxx) How to Build a Successful Content Marketing Website in 100 Days – and Why

Rainer Markussen of Markussen Consulting gave an interesting speech about, an online portal about mobile digital lifestyle. It provides useful information about all innovations on the mobile technology market and wants to boost the exchange between users.


Due to the fact that product prices on all platforms constantly rise, the E-Plus Group wanted to make a change for their online marketing strategy. “The Group has a couple of brands on the market that are even bidding against themselves and are rising the prices”,  Rainer Markussen, project coordinator of, told the audience. The E-Plus Group wanted to create an own digital destination. They wanted to add some reach to the Group and add some information into their sales funnel.

The E-Plus Group intended to follow two approaches: Reaching their target group and creating great content. Markussen explained that trying to promote your brand does not necessarily have to have something to do with your products. Coca Cola or RedBull do set great examples of this by clever campaigns like the Coca Cola Christmas truck or hosting events like the RedBull Air Races. It’s an easy way to increase the brand likes  by using interesting content and associate your brand with it. Because of this, CURVED is not named after the company, though, the products presented on the page are very close to E-Plus. Reaching the target group by presenting the right content to them is key. The company makes sure to reach this goal simply by asking their users. They send out topics to their community and monitor very closely how the given information is used. “The user can state his emotion about the content with a tag”, Rainer Markussen explained, “like very easy, it’s lame or very cool, I want to have this. Looking at the number, you get quite close information.”

Add value to the E-Plus Group

2 Market information:
„We are writing about products that are coming up, much earlier than they come to the market. So we see if people are interested in them“, Markussen explains. This way E-Plus was able to find out, that things they categorized as very interesting to their customers were sometimes not interesting at all.

Marketing Reach:
CURVED provides it’s readers with e.g. special offers or special prices, which are just available at CURVED or for CURVED users. It is useful because E-Plus Group can take advantage of it for ‘If you visit CURVED on a regulary base, you get this’-like promotional purposes.

Audience tracking:
Does your audience like certain kind of gadgets? Are they more into iOS or Android? Is their favorite brand LG or Samsung? What kind of devices do they use for reading? Rainer Markussen explained to his auditors, that tracking your audience makes it much easier for you to know what to give to your customers.

“We would also have other companies as advertisers on CURVED, as well! Like Telekom or Vodafone, but they probably wouldn’t want to do that.” More obvious advertisers, as Markussen pointed out, were mobile brands like Samsung, LG or Nokia that also take advantage of CURVED’ target group.

“We bring people to the shops. We usually relate the articles to a possible offer in a shop”, the speaker mentioned.
Even though this statement could give a bit of a feeling that would be a primarily profit-orientated website, Markussen wants to emphasize that they “very much focus on what is interesting to the customers. If someone is interested in a product of E-Plus it’s fine, if not it’s also fine.”

CURVED started on Oct. 28th in 2013. All they had at first was a blank page. “One hundred days later we launched the page with a motivated Team, a stable, innovative IT-platform and a well equipped website.” The basis for their success, Markussen explains, was their clear content concept. He told the audience that in his opinion people don’t want to know how things work, they just want to know how to use them. And this way content needs to be designed.

How did they manage it in 100 days?

4“If you try to get people out of their running contracts it’s kind of difficult”, Markussen said. The deal was not only to deliver the final platform to E-Plus but also producing high quality content and build the technical platform themselves. The team, as he explained, has changed over the time depending on the needs the project came up with in several stadiums of development.

„The approach was very old-school with a lot of paper involved and a lot of talking.“  On their „major steps wall“ all the designs, all the steps were hung up in line. This way e.g. the technicians knew what the designers were doing and the analytics team was up to date what the conception’s guys were doing.

“What we did at planning was also very conservative. We cut the whole thing in small tasks.” The monitoring was important, the advertising, too. But  putting a lot of SEO rules into their CMS was also an important thing. “If you don’t follow the rules, you can’t publish the article.” Just as easy as that. He also pointed out that “the space where the E-Plus Group appears on Google has increased because of CURVED.”

Success Factors: 
Markussen pointed out that doing the concept of a change sometimes takes longer than the actual progressing of the new product itself. He furthermore states: “Our intention is not to win the pulitzer price, our intention is to gain good content for our customers. Our platform is constantly changing. We for example changed the appearance of our products, how they show up for our users, and it remarkably increased the traffic of our page.”

So,  the main success factor is the product: Looking for relevance and editorial independence. Editors shall not think that they are just writing to promote the Eplus Group. And the innovative concept and emphasis on quality content pays out well:


„We didn’t buy any traffic, it’s all organic.“, Rainer Markussen emphasized. The main traffic is generated by Google News. 
„What we’re doing here is a Content Marketing Platform. We want to save Marketing Money. Spend Marketing Money to Save Marketing Money would be kind of useless.“

written by Nathalia Traxel (@NathisTraxx)

“Turning storyloops into leads”

How can you manage around 500 Websites, 350 Social Media Channels and 200 Apps? Michael Schmidtke from Bosch gives us an answer with his talk “Game Change – Corporate Storytelling and Content Strategy Learnings at Bosch”.

 The high variety of channels mirrors the complex organisational structure – and the key question for Schmidtke in this environment is “how to ensure consistency and impact at the same time”. Storytelling, of course, is the solution-to-be: Just like our ancestors loved to sit around the camp-fire and tell each other stories, we still enjoy a good story today. However, when it comes to serving hundreds of channels with thousands of stories at one time, this seems like a colossal task.

A new approach to storytelling
Instead of classic storytelling, Bosch worked out a new strategy of story doing: Creating basic story patterns and core messages, in order to provide a guideline in translating the brand message into various channels. Michael Schmidtke points out the five most important tools to achieve this goal: Storytelling, Gamification, Campaigning, Convergence and Experience.

Especially Gamification seemed to be an important source of inspiration: Game-Users find themselves in constant loops, always aiming to reach the next level. Just like them, the company permanently acts in various loops – to different countries, stakeholders, products. The image was used to create a concept of “storyloops”, that go hand in hand with the third tool – Campaigning. Here again, the goal was clear: Permanent campaigning instead of one-shot campaigns, with the different stakeholders directly involved.

In practice, the new content strategy might look like this: Bosch invited people from all over the world to participate in the “Bosch World Experience”, free Around-the-World Tickets included. Six applicants were finally chosen – they travel three continents, visit several projects of the company like the Panama Channel and the London Tower Bridge and tell about their personal experiences live. Just one of many examples, how different departments like communication, marketing and sales, but at the same time even on- and offline environment can successfully work together. The goal, after all, always remains the same: Creating content that increases sales – or, like Michael Schmidtke puts it in the nutshell: Turning storyloops into leads.

Written by Katharina Cichosch

Video Interview with Andrew Zusman

„It’s not the user that makes a website inaccessible, it’s the designer.“ That’s what Andrew Zusman, specialist in questions regarding design, says about the usability of a website. In his presentation about „Designing for Cognitive Engagement“, he outlined the advantages of universal design and how a designer can contribute to sustainable user experience.


produced by Matthias Bastian and Vanessa Stern (@vanessadstern)