Assigning Responsibility in Content Strategy

One of the biggest roles for a content strategist is to tear apart a website’s content piece by piece, take out what’s not needed, highlight what’s missing, and create appropriate user flows based on key audiences. But that’s not the hardest part. The hardest part of the job is helping the poor person who is charge of the daily content of that site.

Too often, there are hundreds of pages of web content assigned to one person in a huge organization. Why? Because that person showed an interest in the web. That poor, poor person.

Excuses, excuses

We all know a website is more than a brochure, and it should help support your company’s business goals – so why are some businesses so afraid of expanding this role of content responsibility beyond one, overworked person in marketing and his/her student help? Here are some of the excuses:

  • I don’t understand the web
  • I don’t know how to write
  • I’m working on building our business and don’t have time for that additional responsibility
  • I trust her, and if something is wrong, we’ll fix it afterwards

Really?

The content strategist you work with will recommend important workflows and assign work to various departments in your business to help contribute content to the website. It’s not about adding work to people’s already full plates, but creating a workflow so the content is efficiently added to your website.  The one person you have who is responsible for the website is likely really good at their job, but there are many roles to play in content – writing, reviewing, approving, providing the data and pretty charts, coming up with an awesome idea for a video post… you get the picture.

The good news

If everyone in your organization is working towards a business goal, you’re already half way there. These are the people who own their work – why would they want it on display publicly if they haven’t had a say?

The caution

With the workflow management often comes the big ideas. “Let’s recreate Facebook, but for our industry!” etc. With great power comes great responsibility, and that’s where your friendly content strategist can come in to help assign the workflow – and help you and your team realize when online projects might be out of scope simply because you don’t have the manpower to support them. Many a project has launched and failed because there was no strategy – only a rush to get things done.

Also…

Don’t underestimate how long it takes to write, approve, edit and post a page of web content. If you’re the poor person who’s making the content, be transparent about the work involved, and also clarify how the process would be easier with more hands on deck. Take a real look at everyone’e work schedule and see where things might be able to shift to accommodate content.

Need more help? Contact me.