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Northwestern University

Content Strategy for Professionals: Engaging Audiences

Northwestern University via Coursera


In this course, professionals at all levels of an organization will learn the best ways to engage an audience they want and need by smartly implementing their important, strategic stories and information and by using proven tools and techniques to enhance an audience’s experiences and interest.

Content Strategy is a conversation that provides thought-leadership. It starts a “conversation” with users and stakeholders inside and outside an organization. Conversations are the natural way people think about complex issues. Conversations also enable people to develop “stories,” which lead to understanding and helpful mental pictures. Content Strategy practitioners are at all levels of the best enterprises – in all departments and sectors from the top leader to the newcomer in the ranks.

In this complex information age, forward-thinking employees know that if they and their organizations are to thrive, they need to go beyond their job descriptions. They must master the most demanding communications frontier – creating engaging, strategic, honest stories and information that is valued by their most important audiences. In turn that will make their enterprise stand out.

Regardless of their area of work, position or expertise, Content Strategy practitioners know how to use words, pictures, video, and social and mobile media to interact with their most important constituents with trustable, actionable information that the audience values and will use. The strategic content they produce enhances the user’s lives and deepens their understanding and engagement with the organization.

Guest lecturers in this course include:
-- Rachel Davis Mersey, Associate Professor, Medill, Northwestern
-- Ed Malthouse, Theodore R. and Annie Laurie Sills Professor of Integrated Marketing Communications, Medill, Northwestern
-- Bobby Calder, Charles H. Kellstadt Professor of Marketing & Director of the Center for Cultural Marketing, Kellogg, Northwestern
-- Steven Duke, Associate Professor, Medill, Northwestern
-- Janice Castro, Assistant Professor Emerita, Medill, Nothwestern


  • Introduction to Content Strategy
    • Module 1 sets the stage by defining Content Strategy and setting up the three truths that limit, in a profound way, every person you want to reach with your content.
  • Audiences and Brand
    • Module 2 emphasizes why understanding your audience and being able to effectively segment them is crucial to getting your message across. It also addresses how to craft a core creative concept for a content brand.
  • Experiences and Voice
    • Module 3 is all about using content “experiences” to engage the people you want to reach and the fundamentals of creating an editorial voice.

Taught by

John Lavine, Bobby Calder, Candy Lee, Randy Hlavac, Andrew Gruen and Rachel Davis Mersey


3.7 rating, based on 3 Class Central reviews

4.6 rating at Coursera based on 683 ratings

Start your review of Content Strategy for Professionals: Engaging Audiences

  • Anonymous
    Just theory, that's all. Nothing one can actually use. What's more sad about this course is that it's practically copy-pasted from the older Public Relations books I used to learn from during Uni and slightly adapted to address / include the internet and its rules. I believe you'd be better off learning from the professionals rather than these old people who practically tell you nothing you didn't already know, but in a polished way.

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