I woke with a start in Cleveland, Ohio this morning.

Peered at the old-fashioned digital clock you always get in hotels, and clocked the time.

It sounds like I’m making this up.

It was 2:56 am.

Just a few hours earlier, 256, our little content marketing agency, based back in Dublin, was named the Content Marketing Agency of the Year by the Content Marketing Institute. I’m typing that again. The Content Marketing Institute.

These are the people we look up to, the authority on all things content, the reason for our annual pilgrimage to Cleveland to Content Marketing World.

It’s literally the highest honour 256 could achieve to be acknowledged by the people who know what really good content marketing is.

As soon as I heard our agency called, I raced to the stage and babbled shocked thanks while the master of words Robert Rose, nodded and smiled.  


Celebrating content marketing

The first thing I wanted to do was be with the people who really earned this honour – the crew back in Dublin thousands of miles away. But the Cleveland content community, 3,500 of them gathered from all over the world, stepped in to share the joyful moments in the absence of the 256 team.

It was a whirlwind few hours of congratulations and chatting, and not much time to think about what this all means.

When you wake with a start and the clock reads 2:56, you know the planets aligned that night, and you’ve reached a special milestone.

It’s a privilege to pack this little award in my suitcase tomorrow and escort it back to Dublin.

It will have pride of place in our Dublin HQ. It will remind us of what’s possible when you gather great people - staff and clients - together with purpose and pursue great outcomes.

While Cleveland is undoubtedly the content mecca, it has been our crazy mission at 256 to make Ireland the content capital of the world.

Maybe we’re a little step closer to that today, but we’re certainly not there yet. And that's ok. We're on one hell of a journey getting there.

I'm signing off with immense gratitude to the phenomenal crew at 256, past and present, to the clients who make great possible and to the Content Marketing Institute and the content community who continue to inspire us.

Thank You.

Karen Hesse Karen Hesse is Founder and CEO of 256, a multi-award winning global content marketing agency based in Dublin, Ireland. A journalist and publisher she has over 25 years experience developing content strategy for brands.

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