Being a content strategy advocate in your organisation

Robert Mills • 4 minutes

This video is the eighteenth in our Content Strategy Advent Calendar series.

Here, Michael Metts introduces us to his team to show us how content strategy contributes to other roles within the agency, and Michael talks about being a content strategy advocate at your organisation too.

#ContentStrategyAdvent Day 18: Be a content strategy advocate in your organisation, by @mjmetts

Video transcript

Hi everyone. So I’m Michael Metts and I am going to be on the content strategy advent calendar today. And I’m going to take you with me to work, so in about a 20 minute train ride and a mile walk later we’ll be at my office, we’ll meet some of my co-workers and we’ll talk content strategy all day.

So a couple of things have happened since the last time we talked. The first is that I’ve figured out where the selfie camera on my phone is, so I can actually talk to you now. If you haven’t noticed, I don’t do this very much.

But the second thing is now I’m at work and today I want to show you around my office. Now I’m here kind of early and that’s usually when I get in. No one else is really here right now, on the sixth floor anyway. And I work at a custom software design and development company called The Nerdery. So my idea for today, is to show you around the office, but also to help you meet people who I’ve been working with to get content strategy more a part of our process here at The Nerdery.

Ok, so the first person I want to introduce you to, is John Taboada. He sits right next to me and he is a visual designer. So let’s go talk to him.

Hey John.

Oh hello.

So I’m doing a video about content strategy, for GatherContent, and I just wanted you to share a little bit about projects that we’ve been on and how content strategy has helped you.

Sure. Cool. Yeah, so content strategy is really important in the UX process. So on a project that me and Michael were on, it really helped to define the target audience that we were trying to reach, which really articulated to the client the need to architect the new site with only relevant links that was being migrated from an old site to the new site and then it just helped streamline visual design to speak to that target audience.

Awesome, thanks John.

Hey everyone. So I’m here with Dani Gerber, she’s one of our solutions engineers and so Dani is one of the people who helps us early on in the process. She helps clients understand what their needs are and formulate a project plan for them. So we’ve been working a lot recently on helping clients understand their need for content strategy.

Yeah, so I try to understand what the goals of the client are and what success looks like for them. So a lot of times content is key in any kind of website or application, so I partner with Michael to understand how we can address the clients or the users the best way possible.

Ok, so now I’m here with Jim Butts, one of our Principal Software Engineers. I love working with Jim because he helps me understand the back-end technologies that we’re working with.

Been working with Michael on a few recent projects. It’s been really nice being able to upfront, kind of, run through some different technologies available. We go through some various plugins that might be specific to a certain technology and see what’s there, what’s available for content, how can we organise our fields so things nicely move along when we enter development phase. Additionally we’ve even looked at things like gathering content before we even decide on the technology. So figuring out what their content architecture will be and helping that to inform exactly what tools we want to use during development.

Hi everyone. So I am back from work and I’m with my kids and we are eating doughnuts, because that’s how we roll. So, I just wanted to wrap up today. I had conversations with my co-workers and recorded them for you, because I wanted to talk about being a content strategy advocate in your organisation.

Now, The Nerdery is not new to content strategy. The Nerdery is the company I work for and we do custom software design and development. It’s often web projects or apps and content strategy has been around here for years. However, I’m the first person in the Chicago office who was hired to specifically specialise in it. And so in order to make it a valuable part of what we do for our clients, I’ve has to make a lot of connections and build relationships within the company.

So when it comes to getting content strategy to be part of your company, your organisation, your culture, I have three tips to share.

The first tip is that people are not optional and that’s the reason that I put you face to face with the people who’ve been helping content strategy happen at my job. Because those people, I could never get it done without them. People at every level of the process.

The second thing is that when content strategy wins, everyone wins. It’s not a competition. It’s not about me getting content strategy done, it’s about all of us helping our clients see what content strategy can do for them.

On top of that, I think something I’ve been thinking about, not just professionally but personally, is that every voice matters. And as content strategists, as people who are focused on people and focused on the relationships that are part of our work, we have a unique position where we can amplify voices that may not be heard as well.

So as you practice content strategy I hope that’s what you come away with. I hope you come away with understanding that people are not optional and that you have the ability to amplify the voices that may not be as loud, that may not be as obvious and build a better world with them.

Alright. Happy holidays. Thanks everyone. Bye.

About Michael


Michael Metts is a Senior UX Designer at The Nerdery in Chicago. The Nerdery is a custom software design and development company with offices throughout the Midwest United States. Michael helps organizations tell their stories through meaningful narrative and useful experiences. His past work ranges from managing content strategy for large websites to designing interfaces for web and mobile software. He has given talks and led workshops at Confab, The IA Summit, CS Forum, Midwest UX, MinneWebCon, and more. He also loves pencils. Ask him for one if you see him.

#ContentStrategyAdvent Day 18: Be a content strategy advocate in your organisation, by @mjmetts

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