To create quality content, whether it’s with your clients or your own in-house team, you need to assemble a content delivery team to bring particular skills and experience together.In this post I’ll define the core roles of a typical content team, outline the skills required and state the responsibilities that each of those roles are accountable for.
If you’re working in-house, you’ll need to find people within the organisation that match these roles, maybe they already exist, perhaps you have to crew up for the project, and in some cases you may outsource a particular requirement such as copywriting.If you’re working at an agency on client website redesign projects, you’ll have to work with the client’s project lead to find the best people for the job and may even offer some of the skills as their supplier too.
Typical roles within a content team include:
There are a few things to keep in mind when thinking about these roles:
Let’s take a closer look at what skills and responsibilities each of these roles requires:
These lists could go on and on. It wouldn’t be surprising to see taxonomy, SEO, content migration, modelling, metadata and competitor analysis on these lists. But the key responsibilities and skills are covered. They may even be spread across the following roles, either way, make sure someone on your team can offer them. If it is one person, consider that a big win.
Copywriters may be existing staff, from your agency, or a third party. You may need to add copywriters to the team depending on the content requirement and then scale back post-launch.If your writer is someone on your existing team, be careful if they have a day job to do and have been tasked with writing, as opposed to being a dedicated copywriter.If you’re hiring third party copywriters, ensure they are briefed effectively and make them aware of any relevant content style guides they need to follow (this is something you can do within GatherContent!).
The Senior Editor is responsible for the content and consistency and are the overall enforcer and champion for the content.They should have an intimate understanding of the site’s content along with any user research. They are a central point in the project and may need to intervene with subject matter experts if things get fraught or they need to get the team out of a perpetual feedback loop.The Senior Editor is someone who can continue to have this insight post-launch. They have been so involved in the project from start to finish, that you don't want that knowledge to walk out the door once the site is live.
Subject Experts are likely to be spread across the organisation. They have access to the most accurate information. You may need to work harder to engage some subject experts, others may want to communicate everything. If you experience the latter, make sure what they want to say is valid for your user needs.Effective collaboration with the subject matter experts is essential (we've written about this prevously). You could introduce tasks like pair-writing to really get them on-board and involved in the content creation process. The subject experts should also having an on-going ownership of content after launch
The CMS Editor is the person with the ongoing responsibility for maintaining and updating the site’s content, having cut their teeth on the CMS during the project.Wrapped around all of these roles and responsibilities is workflow. Getting the content from brief to published efficiently is no mean feat but assembling the best content team you can will give you the best chance possible. Other benefits to getting your content team in place are:
However you find and fill those roles, ensuring your project will be able to deliver all of the above will have a positive impact on the content produced.You can use GatherContent to get all of your team and content in one place. Define your workflow, collaborate easily and say goodbye to content chaos. Get started today by signing up to a free trial. You can also join our next webinar to learn more about using GatherContent for website redesign projects.
Rob is Head of Content at GatherContent. He is a journalism graduate and has previously worked as Studio Manager and Head of Content for a design agency and as an Audience Research Executive for the BBC. He’s a published author and regular contributor to industry publications including Net Magazine, Smashing Magazine, 24 Ways,WebTuts+, UX Matters , UX Booth and Content Marketing Institute. On occasion Rob speaks about content strategy and ContentOps at leading industry events.