Who are we?

The Content Academy is a professional training ‘school’ designed to help businesses become better producers and publishers of their own content.

What do we do?

The Academy recognises that every business needs great in-house ‘story-tellers’ to maximise the proliferation of digital routes to market and to exploit opportunities in traditional media. To achieve this goal, we work with companies to find those ‘story-tellers’ and train them up to use words, imagery and video to a professional publisher standard. We also work with senior management teams to introduce and explain the value of content marketing and enable them to put together powerful ‘editorial’ calendars in support of business goals.

Who’s involved?

Experienced professionals from newspapers, broadcasting, video production, public relations and social media have been identified and briefed to create courses to provide practical skills in strategy and content creation & distribution for every type and size of business. The emphasis is on helping businesses drive a continuous flow of fresh, interesting and well-produced content to promote products and services. Our trainers continue to work in their respective fields so provide the latest expertise, proven to deal with real life business challenges.

What courses are available?

The Content Academy focuses on seven areas of training and development in a mix of styles at a range of locations to suit. Below is a snapshot of these courses – talk to us about what would suit your business. We can create any combination for you.

Introduction to Content Management programmes

Who will benefit?

This course is for senior managers and marketeers looking to introduce or improve on an existing content-led marketing and communications strategy. It will provide guidance on how to use content strategy to support business planning, how to develop a story-telling culture in your organisation and put the right people at the heart of it all.

What trainees will learn

  • The context for content
  • What is driving growth and interest
  • The power of content to differentiate your business
  • Google & consistently refreshed content  – why it matters in search
  • Principles of setting up a strategy
  • Who gets involved? Developing a story-telling culture
  • Doing the do – what sort of personality and skills are needed to drive successful programmes

How to write great copy across multiple platforms

Who will benefit?

This course is for anyone who is responsible for in-house content management, who is looking to improve their writing and interviewing skills and get better engagement with their copy from journalists and other online and internal audiences.

What attendees will learn

  • The basics of news release writing
  • Newsroom interview techniques
  • How to write for a specific audience
  • How to mind your language – simplicity and brevity
  • How to adapt your story for web channels
  • When to distribute
  • How to get multiple uses from one story

How to use photography to enhance story-telling

Who will benefit?

This course is for people who are managing a content feed via web/social media/in-house press office and/or are producing internal or external publications who want to know how to create and use photography better in their communications programmes.

What trainees will learn

  • How important great photography is in a fast-paced digital world – instant communication
  • How regional print media is moving towards user generated content = massive opportunity for business
  • How photography plays a key role in delivering your business personality
  • How to take your own pictures – tips and techniques
  • When to use a professional and how to brief them well
  • How to tell stories through images
  • How to increase media interest – producing a full picture package
  • How to use imagery for online platforms – to make an impact
  • The course is a mix of principles and practical workshop and attendees will be encouraged to bring along their own camera

How to produce compelling video content to enhance your stories

Who will benefit?

This course is for anyone who wants to understand how video can enhance their online content and is looking to either commission or create their own videos. The course is a mixture of practical advice and hands-on experience, developing how Video can help your business, charity or organisation.

What attendees will learn

  • 7 reasons to use online video
  • Common types of video content – which could work for you?
  • Finding an audience for your video (SEO, social media)
  • Working with a production company (45 min)
  • The stages of video production from scripting through to completion
  • Questions to ask when looking for a production company
  • How much does a video cost?
  • Creating your own video content (1.5 hour)
  • Camcorder, DSLR or smartphone? Different camera options
  • How to film professional looking interviews, testimonials & case studies
  • Editing videos – a quick overview of software options and key concepts
  • Uploading and enhancing your video with YouTube

How to run successful content campaigns on Twitter and LinkedIn

Who will benefit?

This is a basic course for people starting out or wanting to improve strategy and activity around one or several Twitter feeds and to use Linked in to its full potential. It would suit individuals tasked with driving engagement and leads via these tools. It also considers other platforms like Google+ and Pinterest and looks at how to develop an integrated approach and get the backing of senior managers.

What trainees will learn

  • To post or not to post – how to use an online conversation to grow a business
  • The importance of having a plan – putting strategy behind your online communication activity and integrating it across platforms
  • How to introduce & develop one or more Twitter feeds into the business and using for PR campaigning
  • How to use Linkedin – as a collective and as individuals  – tips and techniques on making the most of your voice on the network & guidelines for employees
  • Introduction to new platforms
  • How to get better backing from senior management to value what you are doing

How to tell your story on your own video, and on radio and TV

Who will benefit?

This course is for senior marketing and management teams who are already creating video content. It is ideal for those involved in presenting videos or appearing as an interviewee, or advising others. This course will teach you the basics around looking and sounding your best. Attendees will also learn how to use TV and radio to get key messages across about their organisations.

What attendees will learn

  • How to use practical examples of business owners on TV to establish do’s and don’ts
  • How to engage with TV and radio channels to build profile and advocate a point of view
  • How to learn from the best broadcasters in the business
  • How to develop a story from your own business into broadcast material
  • How to sound relaxed, confident and authoritative on air, and conquer the nerves
  • Analysis of your performance on film in practical exercises
  • How to get on broadcasters’ guest lists and what to expect

How to put a 12-month editorial calendar of content together

Who will benefit?

This bespoke half-day session will benefit those responsible for putting in place a content programme in support of business goals and who are needing guidance on organising the publishing of good content across multiple platforms – press office/website/social media channels – in an ‘editorial’ plan*. It will help produce the calendar and put in place principals of sustaining it and driving company-wide engagement.

*Assumes that the marketing team are fully briefed on business goals and know prime audience

What trainees will learn

  • How to develop and present a 12 month content programme which supports specific business objectives
  • How to recognise the difference between ‘thrillers’, ‘spillers’ and ‘fillers’ and have examples of each in the plan
  • How to ‘edit’ contributions so that only the best content gets used
  • How to maximise a story across many platforms shown in the plan
  • How to drive a company-wide commitment to a publishing schedule by proving value
  • How to plan content and stick to a schedule  (to mirror behaviours of traditional publishers)
  • Who does the do? Skills audit and recommendation