LETTERS TO DUBAI: FOR CONTENT’S SAKE

Dear Dubai,

 

How’s summer treating you? Hope you’re keeping your cool, hydrating regularly, and embracing loads of patience till the scorching season’s over! 

 

On the topic of ‘content creation’ – having been a marketing and communications professional and hobbyist for over 22 years in 5 countries, I’ve seen how the industry and practice reshaped, evolved, and progressed in different directions. From those early years when simply having a working website was the ‘innovation’ to today’s digital omnipresence and strong tech stack as the norm and ‘basic expectation’, a lot has changed and catapulted to keep up with the lifestyle and media consumption habits of folks from different generations.

Despite the progression and evolution, the fundamentals comprising a compelling and engaging piece of content remained the same – all of which are grounded to 3 I’s: Insight, Idea, and Inspiration.

 

Insight

Simply put, it’s the reflection and reverberation of human realities grounded on a relevant dilemma, desire, or aspiration that longs to be acknowledged, resolved, or fulfilled. Fascinating backgrounds draw upon deep-set emotions, intertwined non-linear highs, and lows matched with open-ended thoughts that leave hooks for discernment. It’s knowing what makes one tick, what strikes a chord that can feel either a punch in the gut or an ecstatic liberation – Bottomline, it boils down to a thoughtful manifestation that one’s gone personal (respectfully and tastefully) and has made the effort to bring relatability and inclusivity to the forefront. 

Idea

After crystallizing the insight that will be strategically leveraged, it’s time to build the foundations of a seamless, succinct, and simple narrative – in short, the idea! Without jumping to execution mode and adding the bells and whistles, it’s key to define and have the bare bones that will hold everything together. Without it, the content will be pure vanilla, with no real substantial substance or just a forced form in my view. Real good ideas should lead to gazillion legs of possible executions. Solid ideas can’t have various layers to justify and explain its stance. Formidable ideas should be short, clear, and easily understood – a fragment that can be told in 10 seconds max. Workable ideas don’t need to be original – in this day and age, there’s not even one. Meaningful ideas should strongly and naturally link to the viewers’ emotions without explicitly spelling things out. Crudely, it’s that resolution or punctuation that leads to ‘finito’ – not exactly the ending or conclusion of a piece, but that ‘aha’ or ‘ohhhh, I see’ moment drawn from the viewers.

 

Inspiration

Why and how. Cause and advocacy. Peg and reference. Style and form. Seems like a set of random word pairings you’d say, yet these bring to life the essence of what inspiration’s about. To make the insight and idea visible and thought-provoking, a content piece should be harnessed and sharpened by thoughtful patches and textures to encompass the totality of a message. This also commands the tone and manner of the final output that echoes principles, values, and mission. 

 

As you all are content creators of today’s generation, when crafting your piece, simply think of the 3 I’s – insight is the soul, the idea is the mind and inspiration is the heart. And regardless of the medium or audience, you’re catering to, if you have these organic foundations, you won’t go wrong.

 

Enjoy creating!

 

Always inspiring,

Joseph

 

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