Our Blog

From the Archive: Brain Traffic Lands the Quad

by Melissa Rach on July 5th, 2012

Happy (belated) Fourth of July! On holidays, Brain Traffic celebrates by reposting a favorite blog from our archive. Since our minds are back on the Olympics, we thought this blog post from March 2011 was appropriate this week. And we’ve updated the design of our “quad” with new colors, adding yet another thrill to the make-your-own-medal craft project at the bottom of the post.


At the last Winter Olympics, figure skater Evan Lysacek won the gold medal without a quad jump, much to the chagrin of the Russian favorite, Evgeni “The-KGB-stole-Steve-Perry’s-mullet-for-me” Plushenko.

Afterwards, Evgeni glowered and ranted. He briefly stood on the gold medal platform at the medals ceremony. His official website declared him the “platinum” medal winner. He made it clear that you need a quad to compete. Vladimir Putin agreed.

I don’t know about you, but we at Brain Traffic got the message. I mean, seriously, Evgeni and Vladimir are not guys you want mad at you. So, we got to work.

The Content Strategy Quad

As of today, the Brain Traffic team has been landing its own quad regularly for more than a year. But our quad isn’t an ice-skating feat—it’s an infographic describing the critical components we consider in every content strategy.

Brain Traffic Content Strategy Quad

What It All Means

At the center is the core content strategy, the central idea for using content to achieve an organization's business goals. To achieve that strategy most effectively, we look at four closely related components (the four areas of the quad):

Content-focused components

  1. Substance—What kind of content do we need (topics, types, sources, etc.), and what messages does content need to communicate to our audience? 
  2. Structure—How is content prioritized, organized, formatted, and displayed? (Structure can include communication planning, IA, metadata, data modeling, linking strategies, etc.)  

People-focused components

  1. Workflow—What processes, tools, and human resources are required for content initiatives to launch successfully and maintain ongoing quality?
  2. Governance—How are key decisions about content and content strategy made? How are changes initiated and communicated?

So Far, It's Getting High Marks

Our quad will probably never be discussed by Dick Button and Scott Hamilton, but over the past year it has received consistently high marks from clients and seminar attendees. The quad helps people quickly understand the complexity of content strategy and puts their content challenges into perspective.

Bonus quad-related craft project

Want to look like a content strategy Olympian? Here’s how:

  1. Print this page
  2. Cut out the quad
  3. Poke a hole in the middle
  4. Put it on a string around your neck

Presto, you’re just like Evgeni.

  • http://twitter.com/SueDavis68 Sue Davis

    Please can I show a small image of the Quad (and link to this article) in an article I’m writing for the European Union’s ‘Waltzing Matilda’ blog?

  • http://milkmen.com/ milkmen

    Thanks. This will be useful sharing content strategy basics with clients.

blog comments powered by Disqus