For many of us, our parents or grandparents were what they used to call “children of the Depression.” Meaning that they grew up or spent their formative years dealing with the effects of the Great Depression of the 1930s.
During that time – as the legends grew and the yarns were spun – people were forced to become masters at using and re-using… virtually everything.
Except for the first born, all the kids wore hand-me-down clothes. The same chicken that began as Sunday dinner, was used everyday throughout the week in soup, casserole, sandwiches, etc. Housewives darned socks. Men brought their lunch bags home from work to be used another day. When something broke, you fixed it. You never threw anything away. In lieu of actual toys, kids found amusement in whatever they could find. Wrap some rags around a small piece of wood to make a baseball. Other rags became rag dolls. A large box became a fort… and so on.
And now you know why they called it a depression.
So, what’s the point?
Today in marketing, when we’ve re-discovered that “content is king,” we’re finding ourselves doing much the same kind of recycling with our content. What started out as a news release, is now web copy and the lead article in this month’s e-newsletter which will also be used in a blog, a tweet and Facebook posting. It’s all the same basic message, maybe it’s tweaked to conform to the audience or the platform, but the essential message remains. Today’s savvy marketers have learned and plan for this ongoing regeneration. The biggest difference is that today we’re so much more sophisticated, we call it re-purposing.
But do it we should and do it we must. It’s part of branding (yet another contemporary buzzword.) It’s part of consistency of message. And – done right – it’s efficient and effective.