Our two literary theory concepts—paratext and transmedia storytelling—map nicely onto alternative approaches for WonkComms.
The big, honking report is The Thing. The blog posts, the op-eds, the roundtable forum, the tweets, the media write ups, the infographics…
all function as paratexts, as “extra stuff” that’s great to have but not always a requirement.
That “extra stuff” exists to “hype, promote, introduce, and discuss” the main text—which is probably a big PDF FILE.
Versus the transmedia model:
This is the CONTENT EVERYWHERE model. It’s one in which you create MODULAR CONTENT that you can remix and push out across multiple channels. No single output is a “main” thing. Rather, each blog post, each tweet, each infographic, each op-ed tells part of the story.
To consider as I start working on reports and plans in government: what is the best format and approach to information? As a long-form print designer I am a fan of making reports better, but alternative formats like websites could be something to consider too.