The Content Strategy Problem

We believe in the power of stakeholder engagement on the web. That's why we hired Brian, an unpaid undergraduate intern who has absolutely no professional experience.

Many organizations have a content strategy problem.

Their problem?

There is no strategy.

Our new reporting universe.

The web has opened up a lot avenues that organizations can use to reach their audiences.  A lot of avenues.  To the point that the number of avenues is overwhelming.

Off the top of my head, a contemporary professional might need to develop reports for…

  • Project Website/Blog
  • Client of Funder Websites/Blogs
  • Partner Websites/Blogs
  • Audience Websites/Blogs
  • Facebook
  • Facebook Live
  • YouTube
  • Vimeo
  • Twitter
  • Tumblr
  • Snapchat
  • Pinterest
  • Project Email List
  • Other Email Lists
  • Listservs
  • Conferences
  • Meetings
  • Events
  • Communities of Practice
  • PDF Archives
  • Paper
  • etc., etc., etc.

Far too often organizations either stick with the tried and true (i.e. 200 pager) or just plain wing it when it comes to trying alternative communication approaches.

Project Starts - Time spent in metaphorical ivory tower with very little communication - start writing 200 pager - finish writing - share with 1 email, 1 tweet, and 1 facebook post.

What is Content Strategy?

“Content strategy refers to the planning, development, and management of content—written or in other media.” – Wikipedia

A coherent content strategy is a guiding force.  It helps us design effective reports and choose appropriate communication channels.  It makes our work evaluable.

A solid content strategy is the habitat where good design thrives.

Content Strategy versus Dissemination

Dissemination is about spreading information.

Content strategy can certainly be used to plan and support dissemination, but its goals are much broader.

In addition to dissemination, content strategy can be used for such purposes as audience building, branding, stakeholder engagement, and evaluation.

Dissemination is usually an afterthought until closer to the end of a project.  Content strategy is an ongoing task that starts at the very beginning of a project and continues through dissemination.

What is Involved?

Developing a content strategy can involve a number of design tasks and considerations.

  • Audience Identification: Do you really know your audience? Can you reach them?
  • Ideation: How are you going to communicate?  Which channels make sense?
  • Content Audits: How can your content be improved?
  • Content Roadmap: Where do you ultimately want to go and how will you get there?
  • Content Governance: Who has the responsibility and authority?
  • Content Support: How you will you support the strategy?
  • Evaluation and Analytics: Is the strategy being appropriately implemented and is it effective?