Please ask questions at any time - don't be afraid to interrupt…
All the worksheets are free to download and use from the address above. They’re licensed under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike - which basically means you have to attribute them and not use for commercial purposes.
There is a lot of complicated stuff talked about strategy. Sometimes it sounds like a scary thing which should cost a bazillion pounds, and can only be validated by expensive consultants like me. But actually it’s really simple - it’s about asking why you’re doing
There’s a line of thinking doing the rounds right now in museum and other circles that we don’t need digital strategies, that the term “digital” is a bit passé. The reason for this thinking is good - there will come a day when digital really is embedded into everything we do, from Director level downwards. When this day comes, I’ll be celebrating as much as the next person. Right now though, digital still need help and focus.
Should a digital strategy be a separate thing to an organisational strategy? Ideally, no. In reality, yes - but it should always be highly connected to everything else the organisation does, never done in isolation.
Here is the lifecycle that sits at the centre of strategy. It is terribly, terribly simple.
You’ll hear more of this later on from Zak. So I’ve stolen his thunder. Yay.
Auditing what you’ve got - both websites but any other web “presence” is a useful activity, even if you’re quite a small organisation. Figure out owners, any outliers (that blog the curators set up and didn’t tell you about) and how much things are updated and used.
At the same time, articulate your offer - do this for on-site stuff as well as online. Ask what makes your organisation special - why would you visit, either online or on-site?
It’s pretty standard fodder, but a SWOT is a useful activity to identify where things are going well and where they aren’t..
Carry out a detailed content inventory / audit - particularly useful for your website, and especially good if you’re about to go through the process of a re-development or re-design.
…don’t be afraid to cull stuff. In fact, whatever you do - cull stuff. Choose the top 10% of content, then choose 10% of this - and use this as your benchmark for the stuff that is really, really important.
Use tools like mind mapping to help understand content hierarchies - this will help you spot possible gaps or discrepancies in where things should be. Tools like mindmeister allow you to collaborate, so you can ask other people in your organisation what they think.
Wireframing is equally important, especially when you’re re-developing - do prototypes as much as possible: they’re very quick, extremely easy (free) to do, and will give you a good basis for user testing.
Articulating your organisational vision - find the formal vision, sketch it down, and then look to see if your own version matches what is being suggested. Ask your peers why they like working there? What motivates them? Why?
Ask what success looks like - in a year, in 5 years. It sometimes helps to ask what total failure would look like, and then turn this around.. :-)
Develop a simple, focused digital vision statement. Use the first few worksheets as background to this one, which will form the beginning of your whole strategy
User personas based on these real interactions. If possible, use real people…
These personas should permeate all the interactions and experiences you put together. Ask - would Gill do this?
As Andrew said though, this isn’t as simple as “just” a persona. These people use multiple devices,
...if you don’t - you should probably not do social media, or at least that particular channel of social media...
Map the content you have (or will have) to the audiences you’ve identified and spoke to. Figure out what work needs to be done in order to make the content ready for them. Hint: copy and paste probably isn’t enough..
With all this in mind, flesh out some goals for the 6-12 month period coming up. Make these tangible, real, measurable, not fluffy.
You’ll need policies and guidelines to help prop up your digital efforts, particularly around social media. Steal and borrow these rather than reinventing the wheel - there are some excellent ones out there.
Tend to be 2 things that you measure: BTDA (Because The Director Asked) BIRUTK (Because It’s Really Useful To Know)
Here are some more details, strategic questions
Two big questions: have you got the “stuff” in place to measure and: do you have time to do something with the data you collect?
Think about attraction & engagement - attraction: new audiences - know your SEO - engagement: people on-site - think about calls to action, content, etc
This one stolen from Koven J Smith and his colleagues.
Museums worry a lot about authority. They worried and continue to worry that social media – prosumers – are undermining authority.
The simple truth is that if you’re not found on the first page of Google, you have no authority anyway.
Free, easy to install, the standard for measuring website activity. Plus it is now the standard across museums and galleries too.
Tools like Facebook have hugely powerful analytics built in, as does Twitter, AdWords, YouTube, Vimeo etc. Get to know these so you can see through the noise and into the stuff that matters.
…but don’t forget that although quantitative stuff lets you draw pretty graphs, often qualitative feedback is more powerful. Use these in any reports you circulate - it’ll help your organisation understand how what you do impacts real people.
The important thing here is that I can only give you pointers, templates, things you can adapt - but you must adapt them for your own uses, and you must find stakeholders who can OWN this process in your organisation in order for it to work.
The operational plan is the nitty gritty - it’s the actual work - the bit where you break down your goals into day-to-day stuff.
Find thought leaders in your organisation, and create a web / web editorial group. Put these people in the group, and give them ownership.
Identify risks - you might have thought that blog post was going to take you an hour, but actually it ate up a day. Make a note of this, and use it as you iterate your plan.
Use groups like the MCG or GEM lists - go to conferences, talk about your experiences, share what you’re doing as openly and widely as you can.
Here’s a recap. Remember to KEEP COMING BACK to your strategy! Re-work it, revise it, stay on top of what’s going on
Your senior managers print their emails (or: why we still need digital strategies, and what to do about it)