When it comes to creating content, you need a process that’s up to the job or your team will struggle to produce high quality and effective content on time. This is true whether you're an agency working with clients or an in-house team working on your organisation's content.So take the time, as early as possible, to design a process around your content requirements.Producing the content will still be a big challenge, but you’ll be better prepared with your plan.
Workshops are a great way to kick-off this planning process.
Facilitating a workshop with your team can engage them (including key stakeholders) and get them focused on giving content the attention it deserves.The workshop is a chance to define a process that ensures content is delivered on time. And that it is purposeful and written in the style it needs to be.
Here are six steps to successfully run the workshop.
Being prepared is essential to get the most from the workshop.
💡Tip: Give attendees plenty of notice and communicate to them before the workshop who will be attending, the goals of the workshop and if they need to prepare or bring anything.
This task is reliant on having the right group of people in attendance, those that are already heavily involved in delivering content, or will be going forward.
💡Tip: Perhaps the content type could have been decided before the workshop so attendees have chance to think about this in advance. Either way, it should be one that they are all familiar with in some capacity.
Giving ownership of content is essential to ensure the process you define is put into practice after the workshop.
💡Tip: Disseminate the ownership after the workshop so everyone is clear on who is responsible for each task and stage of the workflow.
Review and mark each stage with potential risks.Ask these questions:
💡Tip: Be as honest and detailed as possible in this stage. There may be awkward conversations to be had but everyone is working toward the same shared goal - purposeful, accurate and useful content.
Attempt to estimate how much effort (as fractions of hours) each stage could realistically take to perform - write the agreed number against each stage.Total up all the stages at the end of the process.Multiply the total with the anticipated pages on the new site to get an estimate of total effort for all your content.
💡Tip: There may be very different opinions at this stage. Don't hold back with estimates as honesty will breed a more realistic idea of the content challenge faced and the resource needed to overcome it.
Each group walks the whole team through their process (on a sheet of paper) and opens up for discussion.Video the presentations so that any absent stakeholders can keep up with the discussion.
💡Tip: Once the workshop is over it's easy for people to go back to their day jobs and things get forgotten or de-prioritised. Someone needs to ensure the process is put into practice and all actions and outcomes and communicated and shared to the necessary people.
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.