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Connecting silos in your institution for effective content operations

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After defining ContentOps, this presentation then looks at four key principles that can be implemented at Higher Ed institutions for delivering effective content through efficient content operations - workflow, clearly defined roles, content types and templates and content style guides.

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Connecting silos in your institution for effective content operations

  1. 1. ContentOps Connecting silos in your institution for effective content operations Robert Mills #ContentOps #heweb18
  2. 2. We’ll be covering… What ‘Content Operations’ is 1
  3. 3. We’ll be covering… Typical content operations processes 2 What ‘Content Operations’ is1
  4. 4. We’ll be covering… How to connect silos3 Typical content operations processes2 What ‘Content Operations’ is1
  5. 5. We’ll be covering… Tips for implementing at your institution 4 Typical content operations processes2 What ‘Content Operations’ is1 3 How to connect silos
  6. 6. We’ll be covering… Examples from
 other universities 5 Typical content operations processes2 What ‘Content Operations’ is1 How to connect silos3 4 Tips for implementing at your institution
  7. 7. A little background Me! I’m a Content Strategist that has been helping to develop and share our thoughts on content operations, particularly in relation to Higher Ed.
  8. 8. A little background GatherContent A Content Operations Platform that helps teams produce effective content.
  9. 9. A little background Higher Education We have lots of customers in this sector and we conducted research with some of those to inform our thinking
 (and this talk).
  10. 10. A little background Our Survey Our survey focused on Content Operations in Higher Ed and the data referenced today is based on responses from over 60 different universities. 60+
  11. 11. Defining content operations Deane Barker Chief Strategy Officer, Blend Interactive Content operations is concerned with everything between content strategy and content management, and therefore is 
 the “glue” between the plan for content, and the content management system in which it’s managed and delivered.
  12. 12. Defining content operations Colleen Jones Head of Content, MailChimp Content operations is the behind-the-scenes work for managing content activities as effectively and efficiently as possible. Today, content operations often require a mix of elements related to people, process, and technology.
  13. 13. Three key elements to content operations People Process Infrastructure
  14. 14. Strategy Delivery CONTENT
 OPERATIONS PROCESS INFRASTRUCTURE PEOPLE
  15. 15. Content Team Academics senior leadership developers Legal team
  16. 16. Content Team Academics senior leadership developers Legal team
  17. 17. Typical ContentOps principles Clearly defined roles1
  18. 18. Production workflow2 Clearly defined roles1 Typical ContentOps principles
  19. 19. Content types and templates 3 Production workflow2 1 Clearly defined roles Typical ContentOps principles
  20. 20. Content style guides4 2 1 Content types and templates3 Production workflow Clearly defined roles Typical ContentOps principles
  21. 21. Clearly defined roles
  22. 22. Why they’re important Clearly defined roles Vital when those involved are spread far and wide Important when content may not be someone’s job Make it easy for people to do what they need
  23. 23. The benefits Clearly defined roles Fewer revisions, faster approvals Less back and forth and 
 wasted time
 No confusion over who needs to do what Structured team with clear and agreed focus
  24. 24. Our survey says … Clearly defined roles The average number of people a piece of content passes through before it is published is 4. 4
  25. 25. How they connect silos Clearly defined roles Facilitates better collaboration, around a shared goal, on a common playing field.
  26. 26. Tips for success Clearly defined roles Be detailed and prescriptive when assigning tasks
 
 Example: Someone needs to review content. What are they reviewing?
 
 Accuracy • Voice and tone • Brand style • Spelling • Grammar
 State what they don’t need to do
 Don’t shoehorn content onto people’s to-do lists
  27. 27. Learning from Illinois State University Clearly defined roles A central web and interactive communications team Departments were seen as clients and worked with on individual projects Defined roles and responsibilities across, comms/content, design, dev and SMEs
  28. 28. Learning from Illinois State University Clearly defined roles Business-wide goal to give content the attention it deserves Department Chairs, faculty members, admin staff, marketing people and many others were all involved Clear roles kept people focused on specific tasks
  29. 29. Learning from Illinois State University Clearly defined roles Connected different disciplines - content, design and development Faster review and approval of content Overall a quicker turnaround for projects
  30. 30. Learning from Illinois State University Clearly defined roles ‘You can make bad content look good, but it is still bad content’
 - Zach Purcell, Illinois State University
  31. 31. Production workflow
  32. 32. Why they’re important Production workflow Understand effort and resource needed Gain insights into project scope and timelines Help to identify bottlenecks
  33. 33. The benefits Production workflow Keep content production on track Agreed narrative for producing and delivering content
 Facilitates effective collaboration
  34. 34. Our survey says … Production workflow How satisfied are you with your current content production process?
  35. 35. How it connects silos Production workflow Creates and facilitates a common way of working, removing multiple practices and chaotic processes.
  36. 36. Tips for success Production workflow Someone needs to be responsible
 Use language those involved will understand
 Write/Create/Produce? Finalise/Sign-off/Approve?
 Define the workflow as early as possible
 Effectively communicate progress
  37. 37. Learning from Cornell University Production workflow Redesign of alumni.cornell.edu and giving.cornell.edu Legacy sites - not responsive or accessible Lots of contributors with varying writing skills, outdated content, broken links Create a system that drives good UX and meets business goals through content
  38. 38. Learning from Cornell University Production workflow Five workflow stages: Draft Approval Review Publish Push to CMS
  39. 39. Learning from Cornell University Production workflow
  40. 40. Learning from Cornell University Production workflow Successful cross-department collaboration via a bespoke workflow All content production and approval achieved in 3 - 4 weeks 2000/3000 pages of content reduce to 200 30 - 40 people using GatherContent during the project lifecycle
  41. 41. Content types & templates
  42. 42. Why they’re important Content types & templates Helps people deliver content in the right format Provides a framework for all involved with content production
  43. 43. The benefits Content types & templates Consistent content across all departments Save time without the need to format and edit content Easily map content to the CMS
 Provide guidelines at the point of content production Repeatable and scalable process
  44. 44. How they connect silos Content types & templates Content types help create structure, allowing information to be repurposed for different scenarios and devices.
  45. 45. Tips for success Content types & templates Involve the right people from across various teams
 Document the different content types, with examples
 Think about the technology being used to publish content
  46. 46. Learning from University of Leicester Content types & templates Connected two processes to go digital first Streamlined workflow Structured content allowed for consistent content to be produced on time
  47. 47. Learning from University of Leicester Content types & templates Started small with a pilot project and then rolled out further Pilot for undergraduate prospectus involved 10 departments Postgraduate prospectus involved 24 departments Created page templates and then invited people
  48. 48. Learning from University of Leicester Content types & templates Five workflow stages: Content added Sent to department Amends made Ready for design Website updated
  49. 49. Learning from University of Leicester Content types & templates Reduced email traffic between marketing team and academic departments Content delivered and approved on time Content consistent in format and style across all departments Clear guidelines and structure for contributors
  50. 50. Content style guides
  51. 51. Why they’re important Content style guide Helps writers produce content in the right style and format Enables an organisation-wide understanding of style Clear rules and guidelines for content
  52. 52. The benefits Content style guide Consistency in content format and style Empowers content creators
 Saves time having to rewrite and edit content
  53. 53. Content is created and managed in silos, often outside of the digital teams reach, with varying agendas and priorities Content isn’t given the respect it deserves by every school, department and faculty Often, subject matter experts struggle to understand why writing specifically for the web is important and don't buy in to institution-wide content initiatives 73% 69% 67% Poor quality content and inconsistent websites across the university undermine your brand 67% Our survey says … Content style guide
  54. 54. How they connects silos Content style guide Brings people together around a shared style and vocabulary with clear guidelines and rules.
  55. 55. Tips for success Content style guide Create the style guide in a format that will ensure it’s used
 Disseminate the style guide effectively
 The style guide is a working document that needs to be maintained
  56. 56. Example 1 - Dundee University Content style guide
  57. 57. Example 2- University of Bath Content style guide
  58. 58. Bringing it all together
  59. 59. Use ContentOps principles to help connect silos.
  60. 60. Bring people together around a shared understanding and goal for content.
  61. 61. To achieve change and deliver effective content, you need to invest in content operations.
  62. 62. Next steps … Content style guide Map out your ContentOps - people, process and technology
 Identify what’s working and what needs improvement
 Focus on implementing one principle to get started
  63. 63. Let’s chat! GatherContent Visit us at booth 24 for a demo, to find out more about our Higher Ed customers and to chat about ContentOps. 30 day free trial: gathercontent.com
  64. 64. Thank you
 rob@gathercontent.com
 @RobertMills

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