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Repurpose or Repeat?

by Randall Craig on November 30, 2011

Filed in: Blog, Blogging, Communication, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Social Media

Tagged as: , ,

Have you ever considered how many ways there are to express one of your ideas? Here’s a short list:

  • A book
  • A whitepaper
  • A case study
  • A brochure
  • A blog post
  • A newspaper op-ed
  • A voice message or phone call
  • A tweet
  • A magazine article
  • A TV series
  • A documentary
  • A sitcom
  • A news commentary
  • A TV (or radio) commercial
  • A comment in a web forum
  • A video or audio podcast
  • A real-world conversation
  • A meeting
  • A workshop
  • A course
  • and so on.

Have you ever considered why this list is so long? There are three primary reasons:

  1. Supply: we each may feel most comfortable using one method over another.  Not everyone can write (or wants to write) a book or deliver a speech, but writing an email is relatively easy for everyone.
  2. Demand: The audience for our ideas also have preferences. For example, some prefer to ‘consume’ in depth, others prefer a short presentation, while others want it boiled down to a quick paragraph.
  3. Channel: The proliferation and innovation in social media means that new modes of communication are always being invented. Beyond the printing press, telephone and TV, we can now add Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Blogging to society’s grand inventions.

In contrast to the olden days of television, where the dreaded “repeat” meant that nothing was on, savvy communicators use the concept of “re-purposing” to reach different audiences through different channels in different formats.

This week’s action plan: What were your best ideas during the last month or so? This week, choose a way to re-purpose them in a different format through a different channel.


Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
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Randall has been advising on Web and Social Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail's GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of seven books, including the recently released "Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business", and speaks across North America on Social Media and Web Strategy. More at and

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