Kairos and Content

What in the world is kairos?  

Kairos is a Greek word for the art of timing –  a unique moment of opportunity – when the right message at the right moment achieves a desired outcome.

What does kairos have to do with content?

Everything. Content is communication. The point of communication – is to get your point across. Ideally, your audience receives, understands, accepts and is moved by your message to do something.

That something can be anything from learning a skill, changing an opinion, or buying a product. All types of content –  articles, blogs, web pages, white papers, even scientific peer-reviewed journal articles – have a message to deliver.

Classical Greek orators (like Socrates, Plato and Aristotle) had kairos concepts figured out. These were smart guys with strong opinions who knew how to get a point across. Voila – The Great Conversation. Kairos was a key component of their rhetoric.

They knew that for a message to have the most persuasive power, context is crucial. Modern-day content creators can stand on the shoulders of these giants and lift their writing to new levels.

But what is context?

Context is … everything. Time and place. The speaker. The audience. The message itself and the medium used. The audience’s attitude about the speaker and the topic. Culture, language and mood. Even unpredictable things like local weather, planetary disruptions, general elections – all combine in the cosmic stew of context. Context is everything about everything.

Kairos and Golf

Using golf as a metaphor, you hit the ball (your message) with the right club (the medium) at the right time (the course is open and it’s your turn) in the right way (your golf swing) aiming for the green (your audience).

You adjust your swing and your aim for the context of the shot – conditions like the wind, the lie, the distance. The condition of the green – its slope and texture – will affect how the ball will roll, as will any spin or other forces acting on the ball.

With any luck (and skill) you hit the green. In the best case scenario – you hit a hole-in-one.

Kairos and You

Back to content.  Good writers instinctively take the audience into consideration. That’s writing 101. But don’t stop there. Writing with kairos in mind – considering the context of everything about the message – takes it to a new level.  It facilitates high-resolution alignment – getting “on the same wavelength” as the audience. When that happens, the message can’t help but resonate. (It’s a physics thing.)

Inspired content takes the kairos of the moment into consideration. Try it. Approach every project with kairos in mind – and stand back as your message resonates with your audience and moves them to action.

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