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Putting Out Fires with Content Strategy (STC Academic SIG)

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You’ve probably heard – or said – something like “All I did today at work was put out fires.” We’ve all been there. We don’t want fires, but they happen. So, let’s see how content strategy helps put out fires in software development, and what you can do to prepare for a content strategy career.

Presented to the Society for Technical Communication Special Interest Group as part of the pre-conference activities for the CPTSC (Council for Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication) Conference in September 2014.

Published in: Marketing, Technology

Putting Out Fires with Content Strategy (STC Academic SIG)

  1. 1. Putting out fires with content strategy
  2. 2. John Collins • View slides: bit.ly/STCASIG2014 • Twitter: @jrc.collins (@scfr_pio) • LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/johncollins • Personal: www.intersectUX.com/blog 2
  3. 3. ] 3 [ SPOKEN: I volunteer w/ Shenandoah County Department of Fire and Rescue as the public informaCon officer. When there’s a major emergency in our county, I work with chiefs to get the right message out to the news media and the public. I’m not a firefighter, but the posiCon has given me some insights that led to this presentaCon. All of the photos here are photos that I’ve taken. @jrc_collins
  4. 4. Building software is kind of like putting out a fire. Kind of. @jrc_collins 4
  5. 5. It’s hard. @jrc_collins 5
  6. 6. You can’t see all the problems. @jrc_collins 6
  7. 7. Things change quickly. @jrc_collins 7
  8. 8. Teamwork is required. @jrc_collins 8
  9. 9. Teamwork required; many roles Software • Product owner • Project manager • Interaction designer • Visual designer • Content strategist • Software engineer • QA engineer • Technical writer • Localization manager Firefighting • Incident commander • Safety officer • Public information officer • Operations section chief • Division supervisors • Chauffeur/pump operator • Chauffeur/ladder operator • Nozzle • Ventilation • Search and rescue @jrc_collins 9
  10. 10. Good news! It’s hard work, but not impossible. @jrc_collins 10
  11. 11. SPOKEN: Firefighters are heroic, yet not every firefighter runs into the burning building while civilians run out. Not every firefighter is the one rescuing babies from an inferno. Not everyone gets to be the chief in charge of the emergency response. [ ] What’s the secret? @jrc_collins 11
  12. 12. Unsung heroes on the team. @jrc_collins 12
  13. 13. Here’s to the pump operator! @jrc_collins 13
  14. 14. Here’s to the pump operator! 1 or more hoses? @jrc_collins 14
  15. 15. Here’s to the pump operator! Small hoses or big? @jrc_collins 15
  16. 16. Here’s to the pump operator! Water or foam? @jrc_collins 16
  17. 17. Here’s to the pump operator! How many gallons per minute? @jrc_collins 17
  18. 18. Here’s to the pump operator! Tank water or other water source? @jrc_collins 18
  19. 19. Content strategists are the pump operators. @jrc_collins 19
  20. 20. Content Strategy defined The analysis and planning to develop a repeatable system that governs the management of content throughout the entire content lifecycle. — Rahel Anne Bailie, The Language of Content Strategy @jrc_collins 20
  21. 21. Content Strategy defined We define content strategy as: getting the right content to the right user at the right time. — Kevin P. Nichols, SapientNitro @jrc_collins 21
  22. 22. Content Strategy defined Planning for the creation, delivery, and governance of useful, usable content. — Kristina Halvorson, Brain Traffic @jrc_collins 22
  23. 23. Content Strategy defined [Content strategy means you deliver] the right information, to the right people, at the right time, on the right device, in the right format and language. — Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler @jrc_collins 23
  24. 24. Content strategy puts content in the hoses. @jrc_collins 24
  25. 25. @jrc_collins 25
  26. 26. 26
  27. 27. @jrc_collins 27
  28. 28. 28
  29. 29. Content strategy sends the proper amount of content (not too little, not too much) @jrc_collins 29
  30. 30. @jrc_collins 30
  31. 31. @jrc_collins 31
  32. 32. Content strategy sends the proper content to the proper place. @jrc_collins 32
  33. 33. @jrc_collins 33
  34. 34. SPOKEN: What do I do here? Two idenCcal sentences, a third that’s similar but confusing, and no “Log in” opCon for the user. And a comma splice. DON’T MAKE COMMA SPLICES! [ @jrc_collins 34 ]
  35. 35. http://www.king5.com/story/news/local/2014/08/05/13362562/ Wrong content! 35 SPOKEN: Story about a firefighCng drill gone wrong with the wrong content put on the fire. [ ]
  36. 36. Content strategy makes sure there will be enough content in the future. @jrc_collins 36
  37. 37. @jrc_collins 37
  38. 38. What makes a successful UX content strategist? @jrc_collins 38
  39. 39. Knowledge of: • User experience • Software development • XML/HTML/CSS/other code • Information architecture • Content management • Localization @jrc_collins 39
  40. 40. Traits • Curiosity • Ability to handle negative feedback • Ability to listen • Collaborative @jrc_collins 40
  41. 41. Skills • English grammar • Foreign language knowledge • Storytelling • Communication • Negotiation • Technologically savvy @jrc_collins 41
  42. 42. How can academia help ? @jrc_collins 42
  43. 43. Focus on: • English • Technical communication • Computer science • Foreign language @jrc_collins 43
  44. 44. Fires happen. @jrc_collins 44
  45. 45. ] SPOKEN: Know how to be the one who puts content in the hoses, sends the proper amount of content, gets the proper content to the proper place, and makes sure there’s enough content in the future. [ Be prepared. @jrc_collins 45
  46. 46. 46 John Collins • View slides: bit.ly/STCASIG2014 • Twitter: @jrc.collins (@scfr_pio) • LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/johncollins • Personal: www.intersectUX.com/blog

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