Sine Qua Non: Core Values and Content Strategy

A presentation at Confab for Nonprofits 2014 in in Chicago, IL, USA by Jonathon Colman

Core values aren’t created; they’re found. They’re not selected; they’re discovered. And they’re not your mission or vision; they’re what support them. But for most of our organizations or clients, content and design are not—and never will be—core values. Rather, they’re simply just commodities.

Our content strategy work so often focuses on tactics, techniques, and tools that when it comes to creating a core content strategy, we find ourselves blocked. Never for the lack of goals or objectives, but for the values that help us create authentic experiences in support of them. Our values help us find our voice and delight our audience.

Using real-world examples, we’ll walk through the hard questions that you need to ask in order to discover your organization’s core values and build them into your content and design.

In this presentation, you’ll learn:

  • What are core values (and what aren’t!)
  • How to discover your organization’s core values and build them into your brand
  • How to align your content with your core values to build lasting results

Based on the works of Jim Collins, Jerry Porras, Patrick Lencioni, and several others. Featuring examples from NatureBridge, Etsy, Moz, Pack, and Facebook.


The following resources were mentioned during the presentation or are useful additional information.

  • 200+ free Content Strategy resources

    I’ve collected over two hundred of the best content strategy resources. My goal is to make it easy for you to learn about the field of content strategy, find content strategists and blogs to follow, and, hopefully, start contributing to our community.

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