Content strategy encompasses planning, production and management of all forms of web content, aiming to meet the needs of both the user and the business. As a veteran editor and content manager, I continue to build appreciation for how content fits into any web development project. My experience ranges from web communities with a mass of user-generated content, to large-scale institutional and media sites.
The project: Boston Public Schools’ Office of Human Capital website content and navigation (2015)
I consulted with the BPS team to reorganize their department’s site to make content more easily findable and intuitive for the audience (school administrators and teachers).
The process: I worked directly with the BPS OHC team to understand the scope of the project and the major pain points within the organization. I did a full content audit of the site, led card sorting activities to determine proper content groupings, and proposed and implemented a new information architecture based on team feedback. As part of the audit process, I flagged content needing updates, helped to identify sources for those updates, and built out a calendar and process for reviewing and updating pages.
The results: We completely overhauled the navigation structure of the website, cleaned up dozens of broken links and identified a path forward to significant content update projects (which were to be carried out by the team).
The project: TechTarget community integration
As TechTarget’s Senior Manager of Social Media and Online Community, I have two main client groups: the external users who interact with our content; and an internal audience of editors and marketers. The needs of both groups have been central to my team’s effort to expand and fully integrate community features and content into our network of 100+ technology sites, including brand-new discussion tools, promotion of user-generated content in multiple locations and formats, and improved ways of featuring our most active users and contributors.
The process: I’ve worked with editorial department heads and other key supporters to build an understanding of the features we would be implementing, the benefits expected, and the work required by our team and others. I’ve also worked with our development and design teams discussing interaction flows, display logic, user messaging and more, and dug through dozens of spreadsheets to ensure we have the correct data in the proper format. I’ve also made sure there’s a clear, consistent message about what’s being done and why to build support from the executive team and various stakeholders throughout the company.
The results: This is an ongoing effort, but so far we’ve seen a significant increase in membership, user engagement and traffic to our sites. I shared more information about this project at Lavacon 2014.
Tools: WordPress, OpenText, Google Analytics
The project: Northwestern University McCormick School of Engineering (July 2010-July 2011)
As Marketing Coordinator, I helped build and maintain several websites for university programs, centers and offices, in addition to maintaining the content and building new pages for the main McCormick website.
The process: I met with university clients to discuss what they wanted a given website to include and to develop a plan for creating that content. Once I secured draft content, I edited and optimized it for the web and worked with the client to discuss tweaks to site architecture and functionality (see this site process document for an example of the steps I typically took). I also worked with the McCormick IT team to implement all sites using the Cascade content management system, and and co-ran regular workshops to train university users in how to manage their sites and in general web content best practices.
Tools: Cascade CMS (see user manual I helped to create)