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Content Strategy Academy Presentation Slides

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The presentations of speakers at Content Strategy Academy on November 9, 2017.

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Content Strategy Academy Presentation Slides

  1. 1. Welcome! November 9, 2017 8:30am – 12:30pm #DigCS
  2. 2. “Dealing with content is messy. It’s complicated, it’s painful, and it’s expensive. And yet, the web is content. Content is the web. It deserves our time and attention. And that’s where content strategy comes in.” - Kristina Halvorson, Brain Traffic The collaborative role of a content strategist
  3. 3. Bill Parcells, Head Coach of the NE Patriots (1993-1996) Taking a time-intensive, hands-on approach
  4. 4. • Only involved at the end of the process (coaching) • Didn’t direct strategy at the beginning (picking players) • Bill felt like he was set-up to fail, and was being held to an unfair level of accountability for the team’s success or failure • Frustrated, Parcells left the team one week after taking the Patriots to their 2nd-ever Super Bowl Problem - more strategic involvement needed
  5. 5. Content Crazy! CRAZY!
  6. 6. Content strategy in the Farm-to-Table model
  7. 7. • Chef finds out what his customers value the most • Chef invests the time to find the best ingredients in alignment with customer preferences • Menu determined jointly by the chef and farmer that fulfills their strategic vision Farm-to-Table strategies
  8. 8. From the Chefs: Farm-to-Table must-do’s
  9. 9. “The amount of labor that goes into creating and maintaining this standard of food long before a pan ever hits the fire is a huge investment. You work many times harder to–hopefully–create food you are proud of.” From the Chefs: Do Your Homework
  10. 10. “A farmer might ask a chef about what is specifically needed in the restaurant and then go ahead and plant it. A chef and the farmer can even arrange to plan out crops a year in advance...and decide what makes the most sense for both parties.” From the Chefs: Plan Ahead
  11. 11. “Ingredients are constantly fluctuating, not just seasonally, and it’s up to the chef to learn what the limitations are as to what’s available and how to put things together in a way that is still appealing with little notice.” From the Chefs: Be Nimble
  12. 12. Did “Farm-to-Table Football” catch on?
  13. 13. In 2000, Little Bill gets power Big Bill wanted!
  14. 14. Belichick “Farm-to-Table”: Five (5!) Super Bowls
  15. 15. Farm-to-Table content strategy • Make the upfront investment in time • Collaborate with your colleagues • Jointly develop a vision for deliverables and tell the story together
  16. 16. What are the core tenets of content strategy? Mike Petroff
  17. 17. Understand, establish, and enforce best practices for producing, distributing, and measuring content. 1
  18. 18. Produce and refine content for web, email, and social media products in alignment with University priorities, branding, and voice. 2
  19. 19. Develop strategies aimed at audience growth and engagement. 3
  20. 20. Collaborate with editorial, creative, and media relations teams to build, deploy, and refine content that supports the goals of the University. 4
  21. 21. Create a culture of experimentation and testing, piloting new content types, platforms, tools, and other resources. 5
  22. 22. Measure success using analytics to understand performance, inform decision-making, and focus on continuous improvement. 6
  23. 23. And now on to the show! #DigCS Thanks!
  24. 24. @MattWeber _ #DigCS
  25. 25. Content Strategy goals: • Understand, establish, and enforce best practices for producing, distributing, and measuring content for digital products, including web, email, and social media • Develop strategies aimed at audience growth and engagement • Produce and refine content for web, email, and social media products in alignment with University priorities, branding, and voice
  26. 26. • Collaborate with editorial, creative, public affairs, and media relations teams to build, deploy, and refine content that supports the goals of the University • Create a culture of experimentation and testing, piloting new content types, platforms, tools, and other resources • Measure success using analytics to understand performance, inform decision-making, and focus on continuous improvement
  27. 27. con•tent : (noun) information made available by a website or other electronic medium.
  28. 28. con•tent : (noun) information made available by a website or other electronic medium. con•tent : (adjective) in a state of peaceful happiness.
  29. 29. con•tent : (noun) information made available by a website or other electronic medium. con•tent : (adjective) in a state of peaceful happiness.
  30. 30. storytelling
  31. 31. storytelling ethos pathos logos
  32. 32. strategy is . . .
  33. 33. what to do with that story strategy is . . .
  34. 34. storytelling ethos pathos logos
  35. 35. storytelling etho s patho s logo s
  36. 36. storytelling etho s patho s logo s
  37. 37. strategy is . . .
  38. 38. what to do with that story strategy is . . .
  39. 39. how to tell your story (for impact…to somebody) strategy is . . .
  40. 40. lots of jargon in content strategy . . .
  41. 41. lots of jargon in content strategy . . . will make you discontent
  42. 42. reach + engagement = impact jargon
  43. 43. reach + engagement = impact jargon reverse engineered metrics-based accountability paradigms are critical for audience growth
  44. 44. this is a job you have to do
  45. 45. maybe get buy-in from boss
  46. 46. #DigCS
  47. 47. “Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
  48. 48. “Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door.” Ralph Waldo Emerson “Pray, fine stategistias of Harvardia, alloweth me one diversion, a metaphora interpretia…”
  49. 49. Pre-digital content
  50. 50. REACH Engagement Impact
  51. 51. Marcom Office
  52. 52. •alumni •prospective students •current students •donors •prospective donors •staff •faculty •media •parents •teachers •dean
  53. 53. •Website •Facebook •Twitter •Youtube •Instagram •Medium •Email Lists •Podcast •External Blogs •Media Pitching •Content Partners
  54. 54. •Website •Facebook •Twitter •Youtube •Instagram •Medium •Email Lists •Podcast •External Blogs •Media Pitching •Content Partners •alumni •prospective student •current students •donors •prospective donors •staff •faculty •media •parents •teachers •dean
  55. 55. PLAY THE GAME!
  56. 56. •Instagram •Prospective Student
  57. 57. •Instagram •Prospective Student •Faculty •Podcast
  58. 58. •Instagram •Prospective Student •Faculty •Podcast •Twitter •Alumni
  59. 59. storytelling ethos pathos logos
  60. 60. Be the creator of your institution. Be the realist of your institution. Be the advocate of your institution. Be the now of your institution. Be the identity of your institution. Be the unifier of your institution. Be the mentor of your institution.
  61. 61. Be the creator of your institution. Be the realist of your institution. Be the advocate of your institution. Be the now of your institution. Be the identity of your institution. Be the unifier of your institution. Be the mentor of your institution. Be the of your institution.
  62. 62. RETHINKING BOSTON.GOV Creating a new digital face and effectively writing for the City of Boston’s website
  63. 63. WHO WE ARE Digital team: Developers Designers Product managers Content & communications specialists Digital storytellers… Focused on working via agile methodologies and in the public eye
  64. 64. We build digital experiences designed around the needs of our constituents. These tools will be beautiful, welcoming, and highly useful. WHAT WE DO
  65. 65. GUIDING PRINCIPLES ACT AS A HELPFUL HUMAN. BE EQUAL PARTS WARM AND OFFICIAL. THE SYSTEM IS VAST. HELP USERS NAVIGATE IT. BUILD AN ENERGIZING ENVIRONMENT. Empathize and be reasonable in the way you communicate–simple, direct, never condescending. The tone balances professional with friendly, official with open, authority with approachability. Inspire residents to engage. The site should feel alive, vibrant, active, and fresh. Organize the system through the user’s perspective.
  66. 66. WHERE WE STARTED 1 million words — 10,000 URLs — 8,300 PDFs - many microsites and two content managers updating everything in internet explorer :(
  67. 67. More than 30,000 pages of content that look great across all devices and more than 100 people trained to update their content. WHERE WE LANDED
  68. 68. JANUARY 2016 Launched Pilot.Boston.gov SPRING 2016 User testing, iterations on pilot CONTINUOUS Listen, tinker, improve See boston.gov/roadmap AND HOW WE GOT THERE - TIMELINE OF WEBSITE REDESIGN AUGUST 2015 Kick-off, began discovery phase JULY 2016 Launched Boston.gov
  69. 69. ISSUES WITH OLD SITE NOT MOBILE FRIENDLY LOST IN THE CONTENT IS THIS FROM THE CITY? Just pinch and zoom Wait, where do I go? So many microsites... If you wanted to get something done, you had to visit the full desktop site. We were shutting out those who rely on their phones to access the Internet. The old website had tons of information. The problem? You needed to hunt and search to find that information, or just know where to go. The frustration of using the old site forced some departments to run to alternatives. We didn’t have a consistent digital voice or brand.
  70. 70. INSIGHTS AND FEEDBACK: LOOKING IN (EMPLOYEES) “There is no such thing as the City of Boston. We’re a bunch of individuals.” “A lot of trust-breaking moments happen during hand-offs. There is inherently direct opposition between departments’ expertise, and the residents’ needs that straddle departments.”
  71. 71. INSIGHTS AND FEEDBACK: LOOKING OUT (CITIZEN STORIES) “It’s exactly what you would expect of a government website — not very welcoming and very dry.” “Today, the city website feels like hunting through an unorganized filing cabinet — all the information is there, but it’s not usable or accessible. It puts a heavy burden on the resident to find what they need, and takes a level of sophistication, tech savviness.”
  72. 72. GUIDES Guides answer the question, “How can the city help me with…”
  73. 73. CONTENT MIGRATION TIMELINE JANUARY 2016 Boston.gov pilot launch. Began meeting with departments and rewriting content. JULY 20, 2016 Launch of full Boston.gov website. Content moved from post-secondary reading level to 8th grade. MAY - JUNE 2016 Wrap up rewriting thousands of webpages; more than 1 million words. Gave drop dead dates for departments. CONTENT AUDIT - FALL/WINTER 2015 Went through the pages for more than 60 departments to see what to keep and lose.
  74. 74. ACTIVITY DEVELOP THE 27TH LETTER OF THE ALPHABET
  75. 75. ACTIVITY DEVELOP THE 27TH LETTER OF THE ALPHABET boston.gov/brand
  76. 76. LAUNCHING A DIGITAL BRAND The mark for the Boston.gov is not just the letter B but a Bold letter B. Underlined. The new brand has been a huge hit, both inside and outside of City Hall.
  77. 77. CONSISTENT VOICE - ONE BRAND FOR ALL
  78. 78. WRITING FOR DIGITAL Tips and tricks for using plain language and a more human, friendly tone.
  79. 79. People mostly skim and barely scroll down a page. Slate.com hired a data scientist to study how people used their site. They found 50% of their users stopped reading halfway down. Thirty-one percent never even scrolled. REALITIES OF READING ON THE WEB
  80. 80. Most people scan with a rough “F” pattern when they read a webpage. Starting from the top left corner, they scan horizontally across the page and quickly drop down the left side for information. The Nielson Norman Group did a study on user behavior, and created this heat map at the right: The red shows the most viewed section of these websites, followed by yellow, and then blue. HOW DO WE INTERACT WITH THE WEB
  81. 81. PEOPLE STILL NEED US BE BRIEF GET TO THE POINT We’re the City of Boston. We have information that residents can only find on Boston.gov. You’re the Harvard System; people need you to. Students, researchers, faculty, alums, and much more. We still realistically only have the attention of our audience for a few seconds on each page. Big chunks of text just copied and pasted onto a page won’t always do the trick. There are ways we can write that can draw people in and get their attention. By setting up our information and writing in a certain way, we can help residents get the info they need, and get on with their day. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR US?
  82. 82. TIP 1: WRITE SHORT SENTENCES Try to make the average sentence length of your content 15-20 words. You should look to make one point - and maybe a second, related point - in each sentence.
  83. 83. In the 1960s, researchers analyzed one million words of published US writing and found the average sentence length to be 19 words. Here’s how that broke down: ● Government documents (25 words) ● Learned and scientific (24) ● Press reports (21) ● Humor (18) ● Fictional romance/love (14) ● Fictional science/detective (13) Government documents, probably the only essential info on the list, had the longest sentence length. RESEARCH ON SENTENCE LENGTH
  84. 84. THE EASIEST WAY TO BREAK DOWN A LONG SENTENCE? USE PERIODS. Periods help readers digest your latest point, and prepare for the next. At the right, we split our big sentence into three little ones. “The Boston Public Health Commission's Outreach Team provides outreach to individuals. They engage with approximately 400 people in the neighborhood. The team also helps those once barred from a shelter to regain admission and get the support they need.”
  85. 85. TIP 2: USE BULLETED LISTS Bulleted, vertical lists can help break up long pieces of complicated content. Information is placed in easier to read chunks, and sentences that need to be longer can become more readable.
  86. 86. Vertical lists work best when you have a serial list in a sentence. These sentences have a bunch of items listed out, with commas in between. BEFORE: The Fire Prevention Division, in the Boston Fire Department, directs fire prevention activities. It handles the more technical fire prevention problems, maintains appropriate records, grants permits, investigates the causes of fires, and conducts public education programs. AFTER: The Fire Prevention Division: - handles more technical fire prevention problems - maintains appropriate records - grants permits - investigates the cause of fires, and - conducts public education programs. HOW TO CREATE A [GOOD] BULLETED LIST
  87. 87. GRAMMAR COMPLETE SENTENCES DON’T OVERDO IT You don’t need a punctuation after each line in your list. If items in a list are complete sentences, treat them like that. Not everything on a page needs to be in a bulleted list. If you use a list where each item isn’t a complete sentence, you only need punctuation in the second-to-last and last sentence. For example: Today, we bought: - grapes - donuts - apples, and - bananas. For example: Choosing the right tree isn’t that complicated, but we have some tips: - Only pick freshly cut trees. - Pick a tree stand that allows you to add water. - Make sure the stem of your tree is cut diagonally. Adding too many bullets to a page can be just as bad as having a big block of text. If you overdo it, the bullets lose their impact. Save them for the important content on your page. NOTES ON BULLETED LISTS
  88. 88. TIP 3: USE ACTIVE VOICE When we speak, we usually use the active voice. Using the active voice can increase comprehension, and clearly state who is responsible for what. In most active-voice sentences, the doer comes before the verb it governs.
  89. 89. Putting the person or thing doing the action in a sentence in front of its verb will usually ensure that the verb is active. ACTIVE VOICE: The property owner pays the bill. PASSIVE VOICE: The bill should be paid by the property owner. When you use the active voice, your writing is usually tighter, more personal, and you introduce the action earlier in the sentence. When you use the passive voice, you create the reverse of this. It’s used often in jargon and legalese. There are times when you might need to use it, especially when the “doer” isn’t clear, but try to avoid them if you can. WHAT IS ACTIVE VOICE?
  90. 90. An easy way to tell if you are using the active or passive voice is to add “by zombies” after the verb in the sentence. If the sentence still makes sense after adding “by zombies,” it’s in the passive voice. For example: - Passive: The town was attacked (by zombies). Still makes sense. - Active: Zombies attacked (by zombies) the town. Doesn’t make sense. There are trickier versions of the passive voice, but this is an easy tip to keep in mind. ZOMBIES AND ACTIVE VOICE
  91. 91. TIP 4: WRITE AS YOU SPEAK It’s common advice, but it still holds true. What you write should read like a conversation with a friend.
  92. 92. PERSONAL PRONOUNS CONTRACTIONS USE EVERYDAY WORDS It’s OK to use personal pronouns, like “we” and “you.” One of the easiest ways to write as you talk is with contractions. Why use a five dollar word when a five cent word will work? When you avoid personal pronouns in your writing, you often create clumsy sentences. Don’t be afraid to say "we" instead of “The City.” Instead of "residents" or “applicants,” consider saying "you." People talk in contractions — like can’t and don’t — and using them helps people relate to what you’re writing. The important thing to remember, though, is not to overuse them. Only use them when they sounds natural. The average reading level in the US is about 8th grade. Using everyday words can help you reach a wider audience. If you must use a certain word that may be more difficult for someone to understand, that’s OK. Just make sure to explain what it means in your text. CREATE MORE PERSONAL TONE
  93. 93. WHERE DO YOU GO FROM HERE? City’s writing guidelines BOSTON.GOV/ WRITING Web app that allows you to get feedback on the reading level of content. HEMINGWAY EDITOR OXFORD GUIDE TO PLAIN ENGLISH In-depth breakdown of using plain English WRITING FOR GOV.UK British government writing guidelines
  94. 94. LESSONS LEARNED Time: We wanted more! [so give yourselves as much time as you can] + Brand: It’s okay to let the brand organically seep into your communications. We had an aggressive schedule and deadline. In just seven months, we: ● built a content management system ● rewrote nearly one million words, and ● migrated all of the content to the new Boston.gov. Build Schedule: Would have been helpful if we finished most of the content types before writing. Build Confidence in Our Team/Each Other: Training, being available [and not disappearing], a new brand Knowing each other’s limitation: Knowing that departments are the content experts, but that a ‘digital team’ can add value and additional support.
  95. 95. CHALLENGES FOR US TRAINING CITY STAFF STICKING TO THE BRAND IT’S A BALANCING ACT KEEPING IT 8TH GRADE GETTING INVOLVED We’ve made plain English and language a focus on the website, but some department’s are still using jargon and legalese. Our public notices and press releases all come out at a post-graduate level. Majority of departments are using the City’s brand, but there’s still a few holdouts. We’re slowly working to get everyone under the same umbrella. READING LEVEL Drupal is fairly easy to pick up. But, if you don’t use it everyday, or even every week, it’s easy to forget. We’ve trained more than 150 people, but only 20-30 consistently make updates.
  96. 96. An unexpectedly delightful, smart, and human experience has the power to transform people’s assumptions about what government [or educational institutions] is and their relationship to it. WHY IT MATTERS
  97. 97. THANK YOU
  98. 98. Using your Institution’s voice on social media
  99. 99. hello! I am Jenny Li Fowler manager, social media strategy at MIT
  100. 100. hello! I am Jenny Li Fowler manager, social media strategy at MIT web editor and social media manager at HKS
  101. 101. hello! I am Jenny Li Fowler manager, social media strategy at MIT web editor and social media manager at HKS local tv reporter & anchor
  102. 102. hello! I am Jenny Li Fowler daughter & mother @thejennyli
  103. 103. Posting on social media
  104. 104. Posting on social media for yourself
  105. 105. Posting on social media for Harvard
  106. 106. Voice
  107. 107. Voice Your organization’s voice is its public personality.
  108. 108. Tone Your job is to find the right tone for that voice on social media.
  109. 109. Tone You don’t have to start from scratch.
  110. 110. Tone Your audience will let you know you’re getting it right.
  111. 111. Evidence based content strategy
  112. 112. Evidence based content strategy
  113. 113. Evidence based content strategy You have to be willing to ... ● Experiment
  114. 114. Evidence based content strategy You have to be willing to ... ● Experiment ● If it didn’t work, don’t do it anymore (no one will notice)
  115. 115. Evidence based content strategy ● You will learn the social habits of your audience
  116. 116. Evidence based content strategy ● You will learn the social habits of your audience ● You will learn what your audience favors
  117. 117. Evidence based content strategy ● You will learn the social habits of your audience ● You will learn what your audience favors ● You will learn your audience’s sense of humor
  118. 118. Strike social media gold
  119. 119. Strike social media gold Social media event
  120. 120. Strike social media gold Social media event Public event
  121. 121. Reuse content!
  122. 122. Reuse content!
  123. 123. Need to sell your method to your boss?
  124. 124. Need to sell your method to your boss? With an evidence based content strategy ...
  125. 125. Need to sell your method to your boss? With an evidence based content strategy ... ● You’re making informed content decisions based on what your audience likes
  126. 126. Need to sell your method to your boss? With an evidence based content strategy ... ● You’re making informed content decisions based on what your audience likes ● Show them the engagement numbers / follower growth
  127. 127. Need to sell your method to your boss? With an evidence based content strategy ... ● You’re making informed content decisions based on what your audience likes ● Show them the engagement numbers / follower growth ● Increased click through rates
  128. 128. Key Takeaways ● Your organization already has a voice, you’re not creating a new one for social media.
  129. 129. Key Takeaways ● Your organization already has a voice, you’re not creating a new one for social media. ● You want to find the right tone for your org’s social media channels.
  130. 130. Key Takeaways ● Your organization already has a voice, you’re not creating a new one for social media. ● You want to find the right tone for your org’s social media channels. (When in doubt, follow @Harvard’s lead)
  131. 131. Key Takeaways ● Your organization already has a voice, you’re not creating a new one for social media. ● You want to find the right tone for your org’s social media channels. (When in doubt, follow @Harvard’s lead) ● Each engagement is a data point. Do more of what your audience is engaging with — Evidence based content strategy.
  132. 132. Posting on social media for Harvard
  133. 133. thanks! Any questions? You can find me at @thejennyli iamjenny@mit.edu ?
  134. 134. Boston Globe Media DOING MORE WITH LESS OCTOBER, 2017
  135. 135. SHRINKING NEWSROOMS
  136. 136. GROWING AUDIENCES 2,500,000+ Owned Clickable Audience Across the Boston Globe, Boston.com and Twitter accounts, we have over 2.5 million people in our owned clickable audience.
  137. 137. DO MORE WITH LESS
  138. 138. MASSIVE FRAGMENTATION
  139. 139. THREE TYPES OF TOOLS WORKING TOGETHER BOTS 
 COMMUNICATION SMART
 PUBLISHING
  140. 140. WORK SMART NOT HARD
  141. 141. LET THE BOTS FIND THE INTERESTING STUFF
  142. 142. LET THE BOTS FIND THE INTERESTING STUFF
  143. 143. LET THE BOTS FIND THE INTERESTING STUFF The thing you would have been looking for!
  144. 144. IFTTT The stuff you are looking for Where you want it to go
  145. 145. IFTTT
  146. 146. IFTTT
  147. 147. IFTTT
  148. 148. CROWDTANGLE
  149. 149. CROWDTANGLE
  150. 150. USE THESE SAME TOOLS TO PROMOTE YOUR BEST CONTENT
  151. 151. ALERTING YOU TO HIGH PERFORMING POSTS We can quickly bring the best posts across ALL accounts to the largest social audiences. 
 
 This nets us millions of extra impressions per month!
  152. 152. ALERTING YOU TO HIGH PERFORMING POSTS Being alerted to high performance of a particular post also helps inform how we build out daily email newsletters, push alerts, etc.
  153. 153. KEY TAKEAWAYS
  154. 154. GET EVERYONE WORKING TOGETHER
  155. 155. USE ALERTS TO OPTIMIZE DISCOVERY
  156. 156. USE AUTOMATION TO OPTIMIZE AUDIENCE
  157. 157. QUESTIONS?

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