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Fictional Lovely Company

Fictional Lovely Company

Introduction

Publishing sits across many business units in our organisation and we are all publishing to 32 different sites.  As set out in our [CEO’s mid-march vision statement], we will be moving all content to one website by December 2018.

As we move to one website, we want to provide our customers with a coherent, consistent message. To do this we will be working to this content strategy, our [style guide] and our [brand guidelines].

Purpose of a content strategy

[note: this is where I use Kristina Halvorson and Melissa Rach’s model, properly accredited obviously].

  • the core – the aspiration of all our communications 
  • governance – who is responsible and accountable for our content
  • workflow – how content gets from inception to publication and iteration
  • substance – the crux of what we are communicating
  • structure – what we are publishing where

 

A good content strategy means our team is:

  • efficient – we know who is responsible for each step of the content production process and will have data to make quick decisions
  • confident – we are empowered to take action based on data and pre-defined processes
  • always improving – a digital content strategy is always evolving to take advantage of changes in technology and user behaviour

 

A good content strategy means our users are:

  • only served high-quality, trustworthy, user-centred content
  • more likely to trust our content and your brand
  • on their way to becoming our brand champions

The core

This is the foundation of all that we publish. A strong core can:

  • give focus to an our communications
  • help to keep content discussions to an effective minimum
  • give users the reassurance of consistent messaging
  • empower teams to be comfortable and confident in taking content decisions

A weak core can result in:

  • conflicting focus, which delivers poor user experience
  • scope creep, meaning unnecessary content is published – this is not cost-effective
  • team conflict – this is bad for morale and efficiency

 

In a workshop held in January 2017, the publishing team created this core statement:

“We will provide content that only we can provide, evidenced by audience need and consistent across all channels.”

[note: as an example, GOV.UK’s original core was: “To make government information accessible to anyone interested enough to read it.” It later changed to: “People should be able to understand and act on GOV.UK information, not just be able to read it.”

You need to be able to reject content on your core. I find it is the benchmark. You can go into more detail in your content strategy (see below) but the core needs to be something people can recite, understand and act on. It’s not an airy-fairy mission statement that means nothing to anyone not on the exec board. It’s empowerment for your content teams to not publish as well as keep them on track to publish quality content.]

Content we can provide

All content we publish has to be at least 80% unique to our company. If someone else is doing it better, we will not duplicate for search rankings. Instead, we will focus on the value we can add.

Evidenced by user need

We will publish what our audience wants and expects from us. Data and evidence for this is held on the [z drive: comms/digital/evidence].

Consistent across all channels

We will use consistent language and messaging across all our channels (on- and offline) based on the user stories held on the [P drive: comms/digital/evidence/stories.]

 

Workflow

Each business unit in the Fictional Lovely Company, works to a different workflow. As we are all moving to one website, we will have one content management system so we will also have one workflow system.

Workflow inside the content management system will now be:

  1. content editor
  2. subject matter expert fact checks the content
  3. second eyes
  4. publish

‘Second eyes’ is where a senior person in the central editorial team will check the content for style and brand adherence.

When all content is published, a review and archive date must be included.

[note: this is where we’d put diagrams of the workflow process. As the selling content strategy, we would include how much it costs to produce content in the organisation and how efficiencies would be made. We might also include role descriptions if we’ve created a whole new team for an org.]

 

Governance

[note: this is where we put who is responsible for what.]

Content stops being timely, accurate and engaging when approval takes a long time or content is designed by multiple people.

Our current model is:

Manager commissions desired content >author writes > expert input > brand approval > marketing approval > legal approval > amends > author > publish

We will be working to agile content practices (talk to your manager for more details) so we will no longer have this process.

Language like ‘sign off’ and ‘approval’ automatically states we do not trust our own content teams; that they are required to get permission to do their jobs. We value our content designers so these words and actions are not used in our process.

Our new model is:

> author goes through discovery

> works with a single expert to share research and create user stories

> author creates appropriate content with appropriate user research

> expert/author review

> publish

> review based on user experience and iteration

Discovery will show if there’s an existing user story and related content that will negate the need to produce more content.

 

Introduction

Publishing sits across many business units in our organisation and we are all publishing to 32 different sites.  As set out in our [CEO’s mid-march vision statement], we will be moving all content to one website by December 2018.

As we move to one website, we want to provide our customers with a coherent, consistent message. To do this we will be working to this content strategy, our [style guide] and our [brand guidelines].

Purpose of a content strategy

[note: this is where I use Kristina Halvorson and Melissa Rach’s model, properly accredited obviously].

  • the core – the aspiration of all our communications 
  • governance – who is responsible and accountable for our content
  • workflow – how content gets from inception to publication and iteration
  • substance – the crux of what we are communicating
  • structure – what we are publishing where

 

A good content strategy means our team is:

  • efficient – we know who is responsible for each step of the content production process and will have data to make quick decisions
  • confident – we are empowered to take action based on data and pre-defined processes
  • always improving – a digital content strategy is always evolving to take advantage of changes in technology and user behaviour

 

A good content strategy means our users are:

  • only served high-quality, trustworthy, user-centred content
  • more likely to trust our content and your brand
  • on their way to becoming our brand champions

The core

This is the foundation of all that we publish. A strong core can:

  • give focus to an our communications
  • help to keep content discussions to an effective minimum
  • give users the reassurance of consistent messaging
  • empower teams to be comfortable and confident in taking content decisions

A weak core can result in:

  • conflicting focus, which delivers poor user experience
  • scope creep, meaning unnecessary content is published – this is not cost-effective
  • team conflict – this is bad for morale and efficiency

 

In a workshop held in January 2017, the publishing team created this core statement:

“We will provide content that only we can provide, evidenced by audience need and consistent across all channels.”

[note: as an example, GOV.UK’s original core was: “To make government information accessible to anyone interested enough to read it.” It later changed to: “People should be able to understand and act on GOV.UK information, not just be able to read it.”

You need to be able to reject content on your core. I find it is the benchmark. You can go into more detail in your content strategy (see below) but the core needs to be something people can recite, understand and act on. It’s not an airy-fairy mission statement that means nothing to anyone not on the exec board. It’s empowerment for your content teams to not publish as well as keep them on track to publish quality content.]

Content we can provide

All content we publish has to be at least 80% unique to our company. If someone else is doing it better, we will not duplicate for search rankings. Instead, we will focus on the value we can add.

Evidenced by user need

We will publish what our audience wants and expects from us. Data and evidence for this is held on the [z drive: comms/digital/evidence].

Consistent across all channels

We will use consistent language and messaging across all our channels (on- and offline) based on the user stories held on the [P drive: comms/digital/evidence/stories.]

 

Workflow

Each business unit in the Fictional Lovely Company, works to a different workflow. As we are all moving to one website, we will have one content management system so we will also have one workflow system.

Workflow inside the content management system will now be:

  1. content editor
  2. subject matter expert fact checks the content
  3. second eyes
  4. publish

‘Second eyes’ is where a senior person in the central editorial team will check the content for style and brand adherence.

When all content is published, a review and archive date must be included.

[note: this is where we’d put diagrams of the workflow process. As the selling content strategy, we would include how much it costs to produce content in the organisation and how efficiencies would be made. We might also include role descriptions if we’ve created a whole new team for an org.]

 

Governance

[note: this is where we put who is responsible for what.]

Content stops being timely, accurate and engaging when approval takes a long time or content is designed by multiple people.

Our current model is:

Manager commissions desired content >author writes > expert input > brand approval > marketing approval > legal approval > amends > author > publish

We will be working to agile content practices (talk to your manager for more details) so we will no longer have this process.

Language like ‘sign off’ and ‘approval’ automatically states we do not trust our own content teams; that they are required to get permission to do their jobs. We value our content designers so these words and actions are not used in our process.

Our new model is:

> author goes through discovery

> works with a single expert to share research and create user stories

> author creates appropriate content with appropriate user research

> expert/author review

> publish

> review based on user experience and iteration

Discovery will show if there’s an existing user story and related content that will negate the need to produce more content.

 

Writer :