In this episode of Content Head, Joe Michalowski shares his unexpected journey into the realm of content marketing. Starting off with a title of “brand journalist” straight out of college, Joe candidly shares his initial uncertainties about the role, given his lack of formal journalistic training. From his college days transitioning from a chemistry major to an English major, to his thrilling internship covering the Pawtucket PawSox for a sports magazine, Joe’s path was anything but linear.
As he navigated the challenges of content marketing, Joe emphasizes the invaluable lessons he learned by embracing the role of an “untrained journalist.” He underscores the importance of rigorous research, the art of connecting disparate pieces of information, and the power of being a curious listener.
Throughout the episode, a recurring theme emerges: in the world of content, it’s not about being the expert, but rather the dedicated investigator, piecing together a story from myriad sources.
Name: Joe Michalowski
What he does: Director of Content
Embracing the Role of an Untrained Journalist
Joe Michalowski highlights the significance of adopting the mindset of an “untrained journalist” in the content marketing realm. Despite starting as a brand journalist without formal training, Joe emphasizes that one doesn’t need to be an expert to excel in content creation. Instead, it’s about being a dedicated investigator, piecing together stories from various sources. This approach has not only shaped his career but also underscores the importance of authenticity and curiosity in content creation.
The Power of Rigorous Research and Dot Connecting
One of the episode’s standout points is the importance of rigorous research and the art of connecting information. Joe stresses that content creators should be relentless in their research, critically evaluating sources, and not just relying on surface-level information. Moreover, the ability to connect scattered pieces of information into a cohesive narrative is crucial. This “dot connecting” approach ensures that content is both informative and engaging.
The Value of Being a Curious Listener
Joe dives into the essence of being a curious listener, especially during interviews. He believes that follow-up questions often yield the most valuable insights. Instead of sticking strictly to a script, it’s about actively listening, picking up on intriguing points, and exploring them further. This approach not only enriches the content but also makes the interviewee more engaged and the conversation more dynamic.