it’s not my job — the ultimate content strategy smackdown

Panel [SXSW Bios] #notmyjob, #notmyjob2

  • @halvorson
  • @james_mathewson
  • @evany
  • @nathanacurtis
  • @lwelchman


OK. So let’s say your business has a website, a Facebook page, a Twitter account, a blog (or lots of blogs), an email newsletter, some SEO stuff, and eighty bajillion landing pages you forgot about back when it was still funny to rick-roll someone. Who’s doing all this content? Are they talking to each other? Should someone be in charge? Who? Come feel the love as a marketer, a CMS wonk, a UX designer, and a typical SME are brought together (Jerry Springer-style) to discuss the joys of cross-channel content strategy.



It’s not just “what” content, but why, for whom, how, with what, by whom, when, how often, what next. Content lifecycle. Content is a commitment over time. Core strategy is “how content is going to help you actually achieve your business objectives. What is it (substance), where is it going to live and be organized (structure), who is going to do it and what are their requirements/time (workflow), who owns the strategy and is responsible for evoling by what standards (governance). Content Components & People Components.

Content is a business asset not a commodity or by-product of other activities. But that is just the beginning. Creating great content is the beginning, but nurturing and transforming it over time is where the true impact to the business occurs. Without it, you have no communication and connection with your constituents (internal and external; it’s not just about the public-facing presence, but the internal presence is often ). You should treat it as highly valuable. And it’s not just that it is a business asset, but how you use the content (transform created content into business value over time).

Whose job is building the content strategy?

Style guides and templates aren’t enough to do good content strategy. Discovering why your audience is going to consume your content. The entire organization has to participate in maintaining the quality of the web experience. This is the paradigm shift. “Standards enable collaboration. If you want to scale with any sense of quality, you must put standards in place.” (Welchman)

Solving UI problems with content is sometimes a red flag. Sometimes the design should be re-thought to omit/restructure the space that demands unnecessary content.

Content strategy at the project level (what, can we commit, do we have the right people?) versus the enterprise level (how are we going to manage and reuse and govern content assets?). How is there freedom within projects and standards across the enterprise at the same time?

Matrix Management possible now with online collaboration tools?

Standards that everyone adopts is the end goal. How you go about getting there is by small wins and building a reputation for success by use of the standards. Remove the ability to choose not to adopt from the equation by building the standards into the content creation tools. Build it into the environment. Is this the easy way out? Will that really take hold? Get the standards in proximity of the content creation. Look, the tool is saying this. A place to understand what is being prescribed vs the principles I have judgment on.

It’s not about selling people on the idea of “doing content strategy”; ask the right questions. Find out who owns the content and go to them and figure out what is wrong with it with them.

[ There was so much more discussed but I got too involved in the panel to take notes. ]

3 replies on “it’s not my job — the ultimate content strategy smackdown”

  1. Hey,

    Thanks for this. Unfortunately, someone stole our hash tag, so the twitter stream looks kinda weird. Kind of a stream of consciousness thing, but it encapsulates the panel pretty well. I do have one book to add to the book list: “Audience, Relevance and Search: Targeting Web Audiences with Relevant Content.”

    James Mathewson

  2. Cool thanks! I’ve found that the less organized my notes are, the more interesting the panel was.

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