How a content agency uses GatherContent to engage stakeholders with their content process

How a content agency uses GatherContent to engage stakeholders with their content process

3 minute read

How a content agency uses GatherContent to engage stakeholders with their content process

3 minute read

How a content agency uses GatherContent to engage stakeholders with their content process

Becky Taylor

Product Marketing Manager, GatherContent

True North Content is an Australian content agency dedicated to creating content that’s useful. To do this, True North brings their clients and stakeholders into their content process at every step.

True North specialise in helping large organisations such as government departments and peak bodies with their content challenges.

“Large organisations deal with complex subject matter, complex stakeholder sets, and complex workflows. So that's the kind of scenario where sending things back and forth via Google Docs just isn't going to cut it. We’ve developed some processes to manage that and streamline the process.”

Matt Fenwick, Founder, True North Content

I caught up with True North Founder Matt Fenwick and Lead writer, Sandra Muller to understand the recipe to their success.

GatherContent as a must-have on all projects

When pitching new content production projects, True North includes GatherContent as an essential tool.  True North has seen how large projects can go off the rails without strong content workflows, and sees GatherContent as the best tool to manage risk — and save clients money.

“If we didn't have GatherContent, the risks of human error massively increase. As the risks magnify, so does the amount of project management that you need to mitigate those risks. The actual project management time on the content would increase by 10-20%. The writing team will spend time tracking where the content is and updating everything, which could be spent on the content itself.”

Matt Fenwick, Founder, True North Content

Once clients see the benefits GatherContent brings to their project, they're happy to come on board — and many add GatherContent to their ongoing content workflows.

Induction guides & videos

At project kick off, True North creates comprehensive guides for their stakeholders, outlining the project’s mission, process and roles. True North creates guides for each group of stakeholders including the client SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) and the content writing team.

Image shows content pack for content owners, including content mission statements, issues to address, tone of voice etc
True North Content Induction Pack


Within these packs, True North outlines GatherContent as the tool to manage workflow and approval — especially how GatherContent replaces sharing multiple Word files, fielding comments and tracking version history. Finally, understanding that people have different learning styles, True North also includes a short video overview of how to access and use GatherContent. These induction packs anticipate questions that arise during the project, setting expectations and helping everyone concentrate on doing great work.

Content direction and content creation, all in one place

True North uses content templates in GatherContent to structure content and steer contributors on their role in the content creation process. Typically every template will include three tabs:

  • Tab 1 - Content: Content requirements broken down into sections that match the IA structure required (eg. Headline, Subheading, Body etc.).
  • Tab 2 - Writer’s brief: Copy direction, related documents, style theme, source content etc.
  • Tab 3 - SME guidance: Checklists to remind SMEs on what their review role is (eg. Is this technically accurate, Does it meet compliance standards etc.).
“Sometimes SMEs want to hold very dearly onto their way of saying things. However, when our project mission is to refresh the content in plain English and make it more accessible, it can be hard for SMEs to distance themselves from their own language. Reminding SMEs of the role we need them to play in reviewing for technical accuracy makes it easier to deliver effective content by the end of the project.”

Sandra Muller, Lead writer, True North Content

Adaptive workflow

True North's induction packs outlines the workflow each piece of content must pass through from briefing to publishing. They mirror this in GatherContent with the content workflow. This is a set of labels that can be applied to content items to communicate the content’s status and to trigger the next action required in the workflow.

“Workflow in GatherContent is a really good way for helping the client understand the whole process that one piece of content needs to go through before it's ready to publish.”

Sandra Muller, Lead writer, True North Content

Workflows also help stakeholders plan when different people will need to be involved to provide feedback. True North appreciates how easy it is to change workflows midway through a project, when staff changes, or new requirements emerge.  With GatherContent, True North can edit or create new stages in the workflow to capture process changes, keeping stakeholders abreast of what needs to happen and when.

Clear roles with controlled responsibilities

To engage stakeholders with their content process, all parties must understand and agree to the role required of them.

“When we raise this conversation in client organisations, it’s often the first time that they've actually explicitly written down the workflow and answered questions like: What does comms clearance look like? What does SME clearance look like? How do they relate to one another? What are the situations where one might trump the other?”

Matt Fenwick, Founder, True North Content

True North gets buy-in to the roles and responsibilities from the get-go by having these conversations early in the project process. This is then reflected both in the induction packs and mirrored with roles and permissions in GatherContent. For example, True North can lock SMEs down to comment only access, whilst authors can create and edit content.

Getting your stakeholders on board with your content process clears up ambiguity further down the line helping to create a productive, collaborative process. To learn more about how GatherContent can help you engage your content stakeholders, start a free 30-day trial or get in touch to find out more.

True North Content is an Australian content agency dedicated to creating content that’s useful. To do this, True North brings their clients and stakeholders into their content process at every step.

True North specialise in helping large organisations such as government departments and peak bodies with their content challenges.

“Large organisations deal with complex subject matter, complex stakeholder sets, and complex workflows. So that's the kind of scenario where sending things back and forth via Google Docs just isn't going to cut it. We’ve developed some processes to manage that and streamline the process.”

Matt Fenwick, Founder, True North Content

I caught up with True North Founder Matt Fenwick and Lead writer, Sandra Muller to understand the recipe to their success.

GatherContent as a must-have on all projects

When pitching new content production projects, True North includes GatherContent as an essential tool.  True North has seen how large projects can go off the rails without strong content workflows, and sees GatherContent as the best tool to manage risk — and save clients money.

“If we didn't have GatherContent, the risks of human error massively increase. As the risks magnify, so does the amount of project management that you need to mitigate those risks. The actual project management time on the content would increase by 10-20%. The writing team will spend time tracking where the content is and updating everything, which could be spent on the content itself.”

Matt Fenwick, Founder, True North Content

Once clients see the benefits GatherContent brings to their project, they're happy to come on board — and many add GatherContent to their ongoing content workflows.

Induction guides & videos

At project kick off, True North creates comprehensive guides for their stakeholders, outlining the project’s mission, process and roles. True North creates guides for each group of stakeholders including the client SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) and the content writing team.

Image shows content pack for content owners, including content mission statements, issues to address, tone of voice etc
True North Content Induction Pack


Within these packs, True North outlines GatherContent as the tool to manage workflow and approval — especially how GatherContent replaces sharing multiple Word files, fielding comments and tracking version history. Finally, understanding that people have different learning styles, True North also includes a short video overview of how to access and use GatherContent. These induction packs anticipate questions that arise during the project, setting expectations and helping everyone concentrate on doing great work.

Content direction and content creation, all in one place

True North uses content templates in GatherContent to structure content and steer contributors on their role in the content creation process. Typically every template will include three tabs:

  • Tab 1 - Content: Content requirements broken down into sections that match the IA structure required (eg. Headline, Subheading, Body etc.).
  • Tab 2 - Writer’s brief: Copy direction, related documents, style theme, source content etc.
  • Tab 3 - SME guidance: Checklists to remind SMEs on what their review role is (eg. Is this technically accurate, Does it meet compliance standards etc.).
“Sometimes SMEs want to hold very dearly onto their way of saying things. However, when our project mission is to refresh the content in plain English and make it more accessible, it can be hard for SMEs to distance themselves from their own language. Reminding SMEs of the role we need them to play in reviewing for technical accuracy makes it easier to deliver effective content by the end of the project.”

Sandra Muller, Lead writer, True North Content

Adaptive workflow

True North's induction packs outlines the workflow each piece of content must pass through from briefing to publishing. They mirror this in GatherContent with the content workflow. This is a set of labels that can be applied to content items to communicate the content’s status and to trigger the next action required in the workflow.

“Workflow in GatherContent is a really good way for helping the client understand the whole process that one piece of content needs to go through before it's ready to publish.”

Sandra Muller, Lead writer, True North Content

Workflows also help stakeholders plan when different people will need to be involved to provide feedback. True North appreciates how easy it is to change workflows midway through a project, when staff changes, or new requirements emerge.  With GatherContent, True North can edit or create new stages in the workflow to capture process changes, keeping stakeholders abreast of what needs to happen and when.

Clear roles with controlled responsibilities

To engage stakeholders with their content process, all parties must understand and agree to the role required of them.

“When we raise this conversation in client organisations, it’s often the first time that they've actually explicitly written down the workflow and answered questions like: What does comms clearance look like? What does SME clearance look like? How do they relate to one another? What are the situations where one might trump the other?”

Matt Fenwick, Founder, True North Content

True North gets buy-in to the roles and responsibilities from the get-go by having these conversations early in the project process. This is then reflected both in the induction packs and mirrored with roles and permissions in GatherContent. For example, True North can lock SMEs down to comment only access, whilst authors can create and edit content.

Getting your stakeholders on board with your content process clears up ambiguity further down the line helping to create a productive, collaborative process. To learn more about how GatherContent can help you engage your content stakeholders, start a free 30-day trial or get in touch to find out more.

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About the author

Becky Taylor

Becky is a Product Marketing Manager at GatherContent. She has 10+ years working in marketing executing affiliate, content, display, mobile, search and social campaigns for high profile clients across various sectors including Travel, Entertainment and Oil & Energy.

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