Recycle, reuse and reshare your content

By Gemma Pettman


Creating content is an investment. Aside from your time (which is valuable), you may subscribe to paid apps and tools which give the assets you have created a polished look and feel. It stands to reason you would want the video you sweated over or the blog that took hours of research to be seen widely.

You upload it to your organisation’s website and hit publish then, if you’re anything like the rest of us, you return to your to-do list and barely give it a second thought. Until it comes to putting your next evaluation report together and Google Analytics tells you it has been viewed a few hundred times.

That’s great. If you had a clear call to action and some of those visitors took the action you wanted them to, that’s great. But is it proportionate to the hours you spent putting it together? Did you get a return on that investment?
As communicators, if we’re not repurposing our content, I believe we’re making our job harder.  

Recycling, reshaping and rewriting your material can help you to reinforce your message and reach different audiences. It also saves you time.  

Let’s take media coverage as an example. Your CEO is invited onto a local TV news programme to talk about your work. The interview is less than five minutes long, your CEO gets two or three key points across and it’s seen by several thousand people in your area.
Once the interview has aired you could:

Write a blog about the topic they were invited on to discuss, covering the points they made and those there was no time for
Highlight the interview in your newsletter with a link to watch it on demand (if it is available)
Produce a factsheet for your website on the topic
Create an infographic of the key facts
Draw up a help sheet for anyone affected by the issues to download from your website
Turn the help sheet into daily tips you share on social media every day for a week after the interview

From one piece of content (the media interview) you have created several new assets which can be shared with very different audiences to those who may have seen the original broadcast.
The key thing is to start with repurposing in mind. When you’re planning a big piece of content – the hub – think about the various spokes that can come from it. The range of related content you can produce will depend on the nature and type of hub, as well as any budget and time constraints but here are some examples:  

Add value to an event by live-tweeting through it. We do this using the hashtag #NFPComms and find it’s a great way of sharing key points with an audience beyond those in the room. After the event, share blogs which capture the key learning points and guest blogs from speakers which allow them to delve deeper into the topic – we do this too!.
Treat online events and live streams in the same way. The Lord Mayor’s Appeal team tweet through their webinars, make them available for members to watch on-demand, write a blog post summarising the session, then break that down to create social media content. You could also share audio or video clips on social media or turn the audio into a podcast.
Webinars can be turned into slide decks made available on SlideShare, they also make for good downloadable help sheets, ‘how to’ blogs, and infographics.
Blogs become videos (your original copy could be the basis of your script) and vice versa. Community First Yorkshire has a vlog which is also a podcast and a blog.
Complex reports can be broken down into a series of infographics, an interactive chart (like Street League’s impact dashboard ), an easy-to-understand blog, and maybe even a quiz.
Social media posts become Twitter Moments (this blog by Madeleine Sugden will help you make the most of this tool), Instagram Highlights or a Wakelet collection.

And while it’s not strictly repurposing – more revamping – don’t forget to revisit older content. Google Analytics will help you to work out which of your blogs and articles performed well. If you can update or rework them, you could give them a new lease of life.
Evergreen content - material which isn’t time-sensitive or has a long shelf-life - can also be reshared periodically or on relevant dates.
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Gemma Pettman is an independent PR practitioner working in the Not-for-Profit sector and Vice Chair of the CIPR Not-for-Profit Committee.

Image by Shirley Hirst from Pixabay