Skip to main content
May 15, 2017

Classic content strategy mistake: re-creating old formatting with new tools

This post is part of Scriptorium’s 20th anniversary celebration.

A common content strategy mistake is duplicating the look-and-feel of existing content when you’re implementing new tools and processes.

dog clones

Your content formatting isn’t as cute as these cloned dogs, so don’t duplicate it! (Flickr:
Steve Jurvetson)

Why pass up the perfect opportunity to update your formatting, delivery formats, or both? It’s often easier to get funding during times of change, so you need to take advantage of the opportunity.

Three years after I first wrote about this bad approach, I still see content creators succumb to the temptation of using existing formatting as the goal:

The surface appeal of cloning what you already have is understandable. Existing look-and-feel provides a definitive target, and content creators are probably comfortable with said target. However, unless there is a compelling business reason to reconstitute old formatting with your new tools—and “We’ve done it this way forever” generally is not—don’t do it.


* unless you have a specific business requirement—such as regulatory guidelines—for duplicating formatting