Last February Kristina Halvorson, author of Content Strategy for the Web, presented a master class on content strategy for higher education for Higher Ed Experts. After her presentation, she answered a few questions from an audience composed of many universities and colleges.
I’ve decided to share a few excerpts of the transcript from this Q&A with the larger higher ed web community as Kristina gave some solid and useful advice.
After Kristina’s take on how to get rid off the copy-and-paste-from-print-to-web mentality, here is the second installment of the series Kristina Halvorson on #highered Content Challenges
Question: If you could get a group to concentrate on doing three simple things and practicing strategy that would make the most difference, what would they be?Kristina’s Answer: Content strategy sets everybody up for successful implementation. That’s what a good strategy does and it ties those activities back to a business strategy that’s going to help advance and stabilize or grow the business.
So, I really think that one of the first things to do is to start to simply talk more about the life cycle of content within your organization, to start to ask questions. If somebody says we need to have a meeting about launching any section of the website, sit down in that meeting and say: “Okay. Why do we need this? What do we have to work with? Where is this going to live? Does it make sense for it? Do we even have a place for it to live?”
Start to ask those questions – that often just get bulldozed over – because it really opens people’s eyes about opportunities and how complicated content really is. So, asking smart questions is the first thing that I would recommend.
Now, the second thing I would recommend is to audit your content. Go in and find out what you actually have out there. Get an Excel spreadsheet. If you Google how to do a content inventory, you’ll find six or seven articles about this. Do a spreadsheet inventory because that is a great exercise to uncover content ROT – Redundant content, Outdated content or Trivial content. This can sometimes be a really easy, nonpolitical way to begin to clean up your website. So that’s the second thing that I would do.
And, probably the third thing that I would do is try to identify what your guiding editorial principles are in terms of why and when content gets published. How does it sound? What does it look like? What don’t we do? These things can be shared regularly across the organization.
If you want to get a chance to hear Kristina’s take on higher ed content strategy challenges, you should know that she will give the keynote at the PSU Web Conference in June.
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