Martin Luther, content strategist

95 reasons to reform the church!
(#15 changes everything!)

Almost 500 years ago today, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of a church in Wittenburg in Germany. This act, intended to provoke discussion and debate, sparked the Reformation and fragmented the Christian church.

Over the next few decades, Luther spread his message through a variety of methods, taking advantage of the latest technology, the printing press. He wrote letters, books and sermons. He translated the bible into German to better reach his target audience. He created devotional materials for families. He composed hymns to reach the masses. He gathered his followers together to have discussions which they then shared with other Protestant reformers. His message of reform spread though Europe, inspired followers and provoked discussion.

Martin Luther was the first content strategist.

It’s not hard to imagine Luther using today’s technology to spread his carefully crafted content. Tweeting to his followers.* Retweeting fellow reformers. People live tweeting his sermons. Blogging on the latest topics. Sharing posts on Facebook — “95 reasons to reform the church! #15 changes everything!” Putting music and videos on YouTube. Authoring free ebooks. Sending email newsletters. Podcasting.

Martin Luther used content to change the world — almost five centuries before the creation of the internet. And his lasting impact, 499 years later, is a testament to the power and longevity of powerful and effective messaging.

* I can imagine Martin Luther complaining about how hard it is to get verified on Twitter. 

Bob Wertz writes about design, technology and pop culture at Sketchbook B. Bob is a Columbia, South Carolina-based designer, creative director, college instructor, husband and dad. He’s particularly obsessed with typography, the creative process and the tools we use to create. In his spare time, he geeks out about all things historical. Follow Bob on Twitter and Instagram.