The best words in our dictionary and thesaurus don’t come close enough to describing just how much we appreciate Lois Myers and all her work at North Star. As the leader of our Content Department and someone who is always ready to rise to a new challenge or opportunity, she makes everything we say and write for our clients better. We caught up with her this week as she celebrates her 5-year workiversary to hear about the last year at NSM and what’s on the horizon.
First of all, thanks, Lois. You’re an amazing writer, a gracious editor, and one of the best details-people I’ve ever worked with! You’ve continued to be such a steady leader of our Content Department, and I’m wondering what some of the best parts of the last year have been for you. What stands out?
Lois: One highlight was helping execute a seasonal message mapping workshop. This is a relatively new offering developed by North Star. We help client teams really dig into their audience or audiences — their buyer personas — and what is going on in their lives throughout the year. From that exercise, we can develop campaigns that resonate with the exact people their organization is trying to reach.
What did you like about the process?
Lois: In this particular workshop, we were working on three different buyer personas simultaneously. So, we broke the client’s team up into groups, and I was able to go around the room and listen to them all as they were trying to put themselves in the shoes of their target audience. It was great. They were working really hard to think through some of the day-to-day practical challenges that people would face.
I know that kind of insight is golden for our work as content developers.
Lois: Definitely! Really, anytime we are writing for any channel – whether it’s a concise space like social media or a billboard, or helpful, educational content like a blog or an e-book — we are always trying to connect with a very specific audience in a meaningful way.
What else did you spend some time and energy on since your last workiversary?
Lois: One of the other highlights was learning more about content strategy through several HubSpot courses. This was part of the ongoing investment in our professional development that our leadership team prioritizes at NSM. The advanced courses I took helped me really focus on how you are telling your story as an organization. I don’t mean your company history, but why you are doing what you are doing. I’ve spent a lot more time thinking about all the ways that approach can be a powerful tool for connecting with the audiences we are trying to reach.
Along with that, I have been working to find new and expanded ways to help clients promote their content. We all see how the number and kinds of channels for getting a message out there just keep multiplying overnight. So this is a constant need and something we’re asking the client and ourselves — what other channels can we use to promote this content? Which channels are best for a particular audience?
What are some of the content trends or needs you’re seeing in the midst of all the uncertainty and upheaval around COVID-19?
Lois: Right now, we’re really trying to help clients communicate in new ways as the COVID-19 pandemic has changed how we are handling messaging on just about every front. Obviously, it’s more important than ever to have a fast turnaround time for messages as things change daily for some of our clients. I mean, we’re always in tune with changes in our clients’ organizations, but these days we are really keeping in close contact with them. That has helped us support them with everything from alert banners and special COVID-19 pages on websites to more videos and virtual messaging.
Generally, what are some of your favorite parts of your job?
Lois: I almost always learn something new every day when writing for clients. Whether it’s a new type of educational model for a school or the latest research on a particular health topic, I’m able to learn something different and fascinating with each project. It’s interesting how different companies within the same field might do things very differently to meet the needs of whoever they’re trying to serve. As a writer, even when you know a field very well and have been writing in that field for years, there’s always something new to learn.
Also, recently, I’ve been taking the lead in managing some client accounts, and that’s allowed me to really see strategy from an even higher level. It’s also allowed me to dig into the details of results and lead conversions across various channels. How did that Facebook campaign perform or what types of content are producing the highest engagement? Just the opportunity to talk more with clients and listen to their ideas and challenges is one of the best parts of my work. And those conversations are so important for helping us see how we can refine our strategy to serve our clients.
What about outside of office hours? What have you been enjoying?
Lois: Well, there’s an exercise studio that I’ve been going to for two years now that I love. They offer some classes that are a combination of yoga and barre. Fortunately, they’ve been livestreaming classes throughout the COVID-19 lockdown, so it’s become a great outlet for both physical and mental health during this time.
At home, we’re looking forward to our daughter’s graduation from college in December. We’re excited to see what’s next for her. And as always, any time I can find to go on hikes with my husband — a little park nearby or a getaway to the mountains — that’s always fun. Lately, hikes have been at local parks, but we can’t wait to get back to the mountains of North Carolina with all those beautiful waterfalls.