Web Content Strategy: Establishing the Workflow
By: Daniel Jeffers - Search Engine Optimization - 2014
“Trying to fix an organization’s content problems by installing a content management system (CMS) is like trying to save a marriage by booking a holiday.”
Creating a Workflow Process
I’ve run a number of websites and blogs over the years. Usually, I have the ability to post anything I want whenever I want. But if I did, I would have something that looks like my “everything drawer.” A collection of tissues, old cough-drops, change and tokens for random arcades, and envelopes for important letters—often without any sign of the actual letter. I may also get distracted and post nothing for years at a time.
You don’t want this. What you want is a clean representation of the web content strategy we’ve been working on, something that gets all those good ideas onto the website, and makes sure other things don’t get there by mistake or negligence.
There are several roles that need to be filled in order to do this. In my case, I occupy all these roles. However, I don’t do them all at the same time. Each one requires adopting the thought process appropriate to the role. You probably want to assign them to different people, but the idea is the same.
Web Content Editor in Chief
Somebody has to be aware of, and responsible for, everything. This person needs to set the guidelines, approve and enforce the editorial calendar, constantly drive for quality and timeliness. This person also makes sure all the other positions have the right tools, skills, availability, and attitude.
Web Content Editor
Setting up the editorial calendar, making assignments, reviewing and correcting content, and approving for publication are all part of this task. The person doing it needs to have authority to accept and reject articles, even if the content writers may actually be higher ups in the organization.
Web Content Creator
This person might be a writer, graphic designer, or videographer. She might also develop apps or create forms or other functional features. Sometimes the person is a subject matter expert, or a key decision maker within the organization. Alternatively, the writer might be relying on information from the subject matter experts
This might be the IT person, or webmaster, but may also be the editor or final approver—depending on the content management system in use. This person is responsible for making sure the content is formatted properly and entered into the system for publication. She also needs to know what final approval is required to post.