Editorially speaking: The importance of online conversations

If you don't like what's being said, change the conversation. - Don Draper, Creative Director at Sterling, Cooper, Draper, Pryce

Real time news stories, online banking, freedom of speech and one-click buys on Amazon. There are a multitude of positives surrounding the Internet, but beyond these historically compelling opportunities the world of the ether has afforded us (get involved, China), it is important to assess how, ultimately, the Internet is adding to and influencing aspects of our immediate society.

As Don Draper correctly points out, if you don't like something, change the conversation. Whether this conversation is a business idea, an angle for a marketing campaign or an attempt at a shift in society, the overriding point is that there is only one way in which conversations can be altered. Words.

Wordsmiths form the foundation and pillars of entire industries that are built upon the idea of changing conversations - making noise within a space, altering perceptions and projecting ideas and images. In today's almost 'throwaway' zeitgeist, words have become expendable and disposable - like an outfit from H&M - but they have also become ever more essential.

On the web, content is no doubt King (and Queen, and Prince and Princess) and producing quality content remains top priority, but let's change the conversation...

Good quality content doesn't, luckily for the writing industry, grow on trees. Achieving something great demands a fluid, creative, process. Changing, improving and adapting your brand for success in the online space requires carefully chosen words, people who understand how to change conversations and what to change them to. Changing the conversation requires multiple changes to multiple channels. An easy way to illustrate this is the concept of a house party; the majority of the noise and conversation happens in the kitchen but only he who shouts loudest gets heard. If you want to get heard, you need to tailor your approach. This might mean using the porch and setting off some indoor fireworks.

Either way, you'll need some words. Changing your brand's conversations online might demand a different PR approach, a change in article tone and placement, a new and improved content strategy and a series of quality link bait.

SEO Copywriting sits beneath the Journalism/PR/Editing/Creative umbrellas and the bank of talent that it involves now confounds the idea of throw away content. Google is paving the way for quality content to stick around and what's important is those who are writing it. Authorship is predicted to start dominating the web, with names becoming increasingly more important. If you want to change your conversations, make sure you've got the right people talking about you. This means having renowned travel writers reviewing your holidays, financial opinion formers debating your banking products and lifestyle gurus incorporating your latest launch into their interior design methods. What's interesting is that the digital age has offered writers a new creative and diverse platform. Writing for the web is, of course, different to any other form of writing and demands its own rules, but what defines success online is very much the same as any other writing sphere: you connect, you engage, your content is shared and you become credible.

So, Copywriters, Authors and Journalists, keyboards at the ready, the time has come to make new noise. If you've got something to say, say it well and you could change your own conversation.

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