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Content Strategy and Product Management (in science education)


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Presentation from Content Strategy Applied 2017

When your product is mostly content, product management looks a lot like content strategy. The Royal Society of Chemistry is an academic publisher, and a major provider of educational resources for schools and teachers. So that's certainly true here. Having worked in content strategy and product management, and now helping the RSC develop its product management function, I'll talk about how the disciplines interact.

We'll cover:

- What makes a good strategy, and what it means to be a product
- Innovation, roadmapping, and thinking about services
- Measurement and value when your goals are both charitable and commercial

Published in: Business
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Content Strategy and Product Management (in science education)

  1. 1. Roger Hart Content Strategy & Product Management in science education
  2. 2. @RMH40 Technical communication Content strategy Product marketing Product management I’ve done bits of:
  3. 3. That food blog Rahel mentioned: </ShamelessPlug>
  4. 4. Product_____________ Content_____________ strategy? management?
  5. 5. Image: BrainTraffic, of course Join in at the chorus
  6. 6. Making sure your website doesn’t suck, by asking: • What is it for? • Is it any good at that?
  7. 7. a) Something a bunch of copywriters made up in 2007, to add about £200 to their day rates b) A set of really useful principles that can seem operational, and so old white men don’t think of them as “strategic” What do people think content strategy is?
  8. 8. Product_____________ Content_____________ strategy? management?
  9. 9. Image:
  10. 10. “A good product manager is the CEO of the product” “Bullshit” Ben Horrowitz & David Weiden Good Product Manager, Bad Product Manager (1997) Every other blog post on product management ever since
  11. 11. Image:
  12. 12. Image: BrainTraffic, of course Usually, this bit is the problem So we look at the other bits instead
  13. 13. An operational solution to a broken strategy cascade (that you probably can’t affect) “Mr. Carnegie,’ Taylor said, ‘I would advise you to make a list of the ten most important things you can do. and then, start doing number one.” Richard Rumelt, Good Strategy Bad Strategy
  14. 14. So, strategy then?
  15. 15. So, strategy then? Image:
  16. 16. HiPPOs are bad for strategy. (they usually just charge around and break stuff.) Image:
  17. 17. It’s hard to have content strategy without a business or product strategy Image:
  18. 18. Richard Rumelt
  19. 19. Diagnosis Guiding policy Coherent actions Nature of challenge • What is going on here? • SWOT • Simplify overwhelming complexity • Inductive & subjective Overall approach • What roughly will we do? • What will we not do? • Easy to refer to Coordinated steps • Must build on each other • And on strengths • Proximate objectives A cohesive response to an important challenge” “
  20. 20. 21 21 Example
  21. 21. 22 22 Coherent Action Break the cohesion of the enemy fleet Guiding Policy Avoid traditional tactics Exploit rough conditions Nelson’s Diagnosis Outnumbered Better gunners/captains
  22. 22. "The mission of The Walt Disney Company is to be one of the world's leading producers and providers of entertainment and information. Using our portfolio of brands to differentiate our content, services and consumer products, we seek to develop the most creative, innovative and profitable entertainment experiences and related products in the world."
  23. 23. Making sure your organization doesn’t suck, by asking: • What is going on here? • What should we practically do about it?
  24. 24. Geoffrey Moore
  25. 25. User research Win/loss analysis Competitor research Risk analysis Revenue forecasting Market/opportunity sizing Web & usage stats “Jobs To Be Done” Etc, etc Also
  26. 26. • to foster and encourage the growth and application of such science by the dissemination of chemical knowledge; • to establish, uphold and advance the standards of qualification, competence and conduct of those who practise chemistry as a profession; • to serve the public interest by acting in an advisory, consultative or representative capacity in matters relating to the science and practice of chemistry; and • to advance the aims and objectives of members of the Society so far as they relate to the advancement of the science or practice of chemistry.
  27. 27. Supports 54,000 members Policy influence Outreach & campaigning Supporting businesses CPD & careers support Grants & funding Education resources Teacher training bursaries Certification The RSC: and…
  28. 28. Just so much publishing
  29. 29. Databases 58 million chemical structures
  30. 30. Education
  31. 31. Education in Chemistry News (tailored to teaching) Teaching ideas (and resources) Professional development Blogs Commentary and community Learn Chemistry Teacher-focused resources Student focused resources Online CPD courses (£) Periodic table ~45 microsites Schools engagement Competitions: Olympiad, Top of the Bench Outreach: Spectrometer in a suitcase Careers advice Some events Newsletters Learn Chemistry Partnership - Print copies of Education in Chemistry - Outreach visits & events - One teacher membership of RSC - Discounts on Online and Face-to-face CPD courses, posters, freebies CERP High level journal on chemistry education research and practice (online only) Very small but very engaged community. Not read by teachers. - Membership & professional community - Resources and tools - Campaigning & outreach - News and events - Journals, books & databases - Locations & contacts Educationpublishingportfolio:Corporatesite
  32. 32. So. Much. Content. Seriously. Like, 45 microsites. ~7,000 content “components”
  33. 33. My personal favourite
  34. 34. Mature existing content strategy practice
  35. 35. Mature existing content strategy practice
  36. 36. Open access is coming here
  37. 37. Can we fix it all with content strategy? Or: What do they even pay me for?
  38. 38. Workshop all the things
  39. 39. “I think the thing that most strongly drives teachers to our websites/services is the Education Coordinators. Many teachers still find our site incredibly difficult to navigate and find unless they are shown where it is/how to use it (confusion as they give up before they get to Learn Chemistry if they haven’t had guidance).” (This arrived in my inbox during Padma’s talk) WTF?
  40. 40. Education directorate vision & mission Our vision is that everyone has access to an excellent chemistry education that ensures students have the skills and knowledge to benefit society. The RSC will aim to improve and enrich chemistry education, and ensure that students are inspired to access learning and engage with chemistry.
  41. 41. Diagnosis: simplified When people find our stuff, they love it. They don’t find it easily enough, and it’s often hard to use. Our outreach activity is awesome, but can be a workaround for findability and usability. So. Much. Technical. Debt. TES, much? Bitesize? Yeah, those. (with the confidential/sensitive bits removed)
  42. 42. “Gave me what I searched for but not entirely what i was looking for. BUT this site has ben really helpful. Thank you and keep up the good work” “interaction design of site makes it very difficult to navigate. Scrolling through content is too hard.” “I can't find what i want” “These are relevant, clear, accurate, and well researched practical resources” Customer feedback Net Promoter scores Commissioned research (SchoolZone) Organic search Jira tickets UX test feedback
  43. 43. Roll it all up into a single, coherent, simpler product and fix its discoverability. Integrate this with outreach to help teachers get at value and help us learn. Don’t create (much) more content. Develop a “volume of value” metric. Guiding policy It’s not rocket synergy
  44. 44. But Roger, what about those coherent actions?
  45. 45. Periodic Table app Register on site awareness discovery validation purchase Align with our funnel
  46. 46. One thing to take away? Read the book. It’s awesome.
  47. 47. More references • Good Strategy, Bad Strategy • Dealing With Darwin • The Product Vision Board • Geoffrey Moore on market maturity (video) • Kathy Sierra at Business of Software (video) • The Jobs To Be Done framework website • HubSpot on Inbound Marketing • The Innovator’s Dilemma • Net Promoter