WordSouth engages the power of content marketing to help electric utility and telecommunications companies connect with their communities — customers, members, employees and other stakeholders. Our team of creative professionals has the experience and track record to help you realize your communications goals.
How? By creating custom content that engages your intended audience. Examples of content marketing projects include:
• Newsletters and Magazines
• Product and Service Brochures
• Targeted Direct Mail
• Annual Reports
• Monthly Bill Inserts
• Customer/Member Information Packets
• Specialty Publications
• Websites/Social Channels
The WordSouth approach is all-encompassing. After developing your custom content solution, WordSouth manages your project through production and distribution — so you can focus your time and staff on your customers/members. This approach relieves you of the many details involved in content marketing. With your input and direction, the WordSouth team develops the editorial, photographic and design elements of your project. Once you give us final approval, you don’t have to think about the project again until it is published, delivered or distributed to your target audience.
October 31st, 2013
A collaborative publishing project in the rural telecommunications industry has been featured in a national business magazine.
The current issue of Profile magazine includes an “as told by” interview with WordSouth founder Stephen V. Smith. He discusses the Regional Telco Magazine, a collaborative project that is helping rural telecommunications companies reach out to their consumers through a professional, cost-effective publication.
Profile, billed as “the voice of the modern executive,” is a print and digital publication that identifies and promotes innovation in prominent American industries. The current cover story features Neil Schloss, vice president & treasurer of Ford Motor Company.
“Storytelling is really the heart of content marketing, the idea that a company can meet its goals by informing, educating, and engaging its customers through stories,” Smith says in the article. To read the full piece, visit the Profile website.
July 23rd, 2013
Last week, Stephen was in Orlando attending the NTCA PR & Marketing Conference. There he presented two sessions, along with Carrie Huckeby of TMS, on the topic “Partnership, Strategy and Messaging through Print Magazines.” The presentation was a case study of the Regional Telco Magazine.
If you were unable to attend, we have posted the presentation to SlideShare. If you’d like more details, just give us a call!
May 14th, 2013
Content marketing is the power of story. That’s the message Stephen V. Smith, president of WordSouth, shared with members of the Tennessee Telecommunications Association today at the group’s annual meeting in Franklin, Tenn.
“You have an incredibly powerful story to tell,” Smith told the crowd. “Your story is a human story, about the real lives that you are making better through the network you are building. And that’s where content marketing begins.”
There is a reason content marketing is effective, Smith said. “Stories drive engagement,” he stated, “and engagement drives sales.”
Smith offered seven key points to developing a content strategy:
1) Conduct a content audit
2) Determine the goals you want to accomplish
3) Identify your voice
4) Appoint a content manager
5) Seek support from all employees
6) Develop an editorial calendar
7) Share valuable content that focuses on customer needs
He also offered a few tips for companies considering a content marketing program:
1) Start small and simple — you can’t do it all at once
2) Repurpose content
3) Cross-promote content
4) Create ways for your audience to provide feedback
5) Engage daily with your online presence — have a conversation with visitors
After sharing a few true stories about people from across the region whose lives had been impacted by rural telecommunications providers, Smith challenged those present to go back to their companies and seek out the stories that would engage their customers and members.
March 1st, 2013
A North Alabama content marketing firm has created a project that is helping rural telephone and Internet providers connect with their consumers and other key stakeholders.
WordSouth, based in Rainsville, has launched a regional consumer magazine to serve the rural telecommunications industry. Ten companies in four states are involved in the first stage of the project. The March/April issue is hitting mailboxes now.
The magazine is written, designed and produced by WordSouth, then mailed to the customers and prospects of the participating telecommunications companies. Half of the 16-page magazine features industry news and content of regional interest. The other eight pages are customized for each utility, highlighting the people, businesses and community institutions who benefit from the services they provide. The telcos also use their local pages to share company announcements and promote their offerings.
“It’s a strong combination,” explains Stephen V. Smith, founder and president of WordSouth. “Readers enjoy custom content from their hometown, plus a broader mix of news and features from across the Southeast.”
The goal of the project is to help cooperative and independent telecommunications companies build stronger relationships with key stakeholders by sharing content that is educational, informative and engaging. These stakeholders include existing customers, potential customers and elected officials whose decisions could impact the quality and price of services customers receive.
In addition to the print version, several participants are publishing an online edition of the magazine as well.
“Telcos need this type of publication more now than ever,” says Smith. “Changing federal regulations, along with shifts in consumer habits, are rapidly transforming the business of delivering telephone, Internet and related services. The independent and cooperative providers who serve America’s rural regions are feeling the pressure as new revenue models tighten budgets and realign priorities.”
Rural and independent telcos often serve regions with low consumer density, says Smith, yet manage to provide advanced telecommunications services that promote economic development, enable small businesses to compete, support education and foster an improved quality of life.
“This new magazine project was launched in the true spirit of partnership,” says Smith. “By working together and sharing costs, the participating telcos have been able to achieve significant economies of scale. The result is a project of higher quality at a lower price than any single company could have created on their own.”
The following companies participated in the launch of the publication:
WordSouth developed the concept for the magazine project in partnership with Telecom Management Services (TMS), a Tennessee-based company that provides comprehensive management services to the independent telco industry. “TMS has created a unique business model to help its companies succeed in the new telecommunications industry,” says Smith. “Their chief marketing officer, Carrie Huckeby, has been instrumental in promoting this magazine concept to others in the industry — another example of the strong partnerships that are driving this project.”
WordSouth was formed on New Years Day of 1996 when Smith, a journalist for a rural newspaper, parlayed his freelance writing work for an electric cooperative into a full-time venture focused on cooperatives and independent utilities. Smith’s wife, Michele, joined the new company as a graphic designer. Today the WordSouth team consists of seven employees and a network of freelancers in several states.
WordSouth celebrated 17 years of service in January. The company partners with electric utilities and telecommunications companies across the Southeast to help them create and deliver powerful content to reach their business goals.
For more information about the the regional telecommunications magazine, contact Smith at 256-638-8856 or email@example.com.
March 1st, 2013
Stephen V. Smith, president of WordSouth, was interviewed recently by Enterprise Radio host Eric Dye on the Entrepreneur Podcast Network. Among the topics Smith discussed were: