Even though there are usually dozens of things more important than your web content during a crisis, your ability to communicate in a helpful, empathetic, and useful way is key. Content strategy during a crisis isn’t about maximizing potential, but for providing guidance and clarity.
I’m excited to officially announce the my inclusion in The Smashing Book #4: New Perspectives on Web Design. SURPRISE – I wrote about content strategy. The chapter, which focuses on both sides of the content strategy landscape – both user needs and editor needs – serves as a capstone to all of this empathy stuff that’s I’ve been writing and talking about over the past year and a half. So go buy it.
We spend a lot of time worrying about where content will come from and what form it will take. Where we often stumble is aligning those decisions with our existing resources. Because while structured content and editorial calendars are fantastic, they take time – time a small business or non-profit may not have. So let’s talk a bit about how we can prioritize tasks and goals, all while taking our clients’ existing pool of time into consideration.
The chasm of understanding between consultant and client – or between content person and marketing team, or whatever your situation might be – is a dangerous hurdle. Our job as content experts is to understand that, despite the promises and assurances we make in terms of a client’s content, our own explanations and processes are tangled, weirdly worded and sometimes impossible to decipher.
The slides for this talk – which, naturally make little sense on their own – are here for your viewing pleasure.
This talk is based on interviews with several people and research, which was compiled into an article on this here blog, “Empathy and Content Strategy: Teaching, Listening and Affecting Change”.
Content strategy practitioners – and, really, the entire UX umbrella – serve a unique role in the life of a web property, in that we act as an advocate for people we may never know. But there’s another element of this process that can often be overlooked, and it’s the audience we know and understand and work with on a daily basis: the client.