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People, plans, and process: Making your content strategy really happen

People, plans, and process: Making your content strategy really happen

In this workshop, you’ll learn how to turn your content strategy into a tactical plan and then how to create a content workflow so you and your team can develop content with more clarity and a little less chaos.

You’ll walk away with:

1. A better understanding of how to turn your content strategy into action items.
2. A set of “building blocks” for creating a workflow for your content project.
3. Techniques for getting stakeholders to use and adhere to the workflow.

This session is most useful for people who understand how to get a content strategy in place but then find themselves asking, “Where do we begin? What do we tackle first?” Or, for those looking to improve their existing content production process.


Malaika Carpenter

April 18, 2019


  1. People, Plans, & Process Making your content strategy really happen

    Presented by Malaika Carpenter
  2. Content can be messy.

  3. But we can tidy it up with systems.

  4. That's called workflow & governance.

  5. ABOUT Malaika Content strategy consultant for tech, healthcare, and non-

    profit brands. Called the "Marie Kondo" of web teams. Sparking joy by tidying up content processes. @MALAIKAINK
  6. Let's get to know you...

  7. How would you describe your current content workflow? Pair up

    & ask
  8. What's up for today?

  9. TODAY'S Agenda Discuss content workflow basics. Define the building blocks

    of content workflow. Exercise our knowledge. Create a sample workflow.
  10. Turn your strategy into action items. Map your workflow. Engage

    your team in the process. Encourage workflow adherence. YOU WILL LEARN How to
  11. What is content workflow?

  12. Brain Traffic's Content Strategy Quad, 2018

  13. A repeatable system that allows you to create, deliver, and

    manage content. @MALAIKAINK
  14. Attributes Organization & Relationships Requirements STRUCTURE Brain Traffic's Content Strategy

    Quad, 2018 Elements that comprise a specific type of content.
  15. PROCESS People Tools & Resources Tasks Brain Traffic's Content Strategy

    Quad, 2018 Who and what is required to create and publish content.
  16. Why does content workflow matter?

  17. UNCLEAR WORKFLOWS wastes... RESOURCES Not planned Not budgeted Not tracked

    EFFORT Overlapping Duplicate work Undefined tasks TIME Untracked Underestimate Spend too much
  18. Content workflow is the foundation of successful* content projects. *lasting

    beyond launch. @MALAIKAINK
  19. Workflows give you a realistic view of what it takes

    to create content. @MALAIKAINK
  20. And offers a clear and consistent way to create and

    manage content. @MALAIKAINK
  21. Content workflow is made up of...

  22. P P P P PRODUCT Specific type of content you're

    building and creating. PROCESS Steps and tasks needed to complete and publish content. PLAN OF ACTION Documented process that is shared with your team. PEOPLE Persons responsible and accountable for content. THE 4 P'S
  23. The specific type of content you're making. For example, a

    webinar. #1 BUILDING BLOCK Product Know the scope and requirements for your work. WHY IT MATTERS...
  24. Define your content Content Types List the common content types

    you create. Audience & Objectives Indicate who the content is for & the goal it should achieve. Content Attributes List the elements that make up this content type.

    OBJECTIVE: Email Newsletter Topic Subject Line Body Copy Image Attachment Call-to-action/ Offer URL Link Past Customers (last 30 days) Encourage a purchase
  26. Let's practice Use flip chart to list attributes, audience, and

    objective. As a group, select a content type to discuss. Use worksheet to list common content types. (INDIVIDUAL & GROUP EXERCISE)
  27. #2 BUILDING BLOCK Process Be realistic about your team's time,

    capacity, resources & budget. WHY IT MATTERS... Steps and tasks needed to complete and publish content.

  29. Please note... So, there may be extra steps or tasks

  30. Map your steps Common Stages List the typical stages in

    the creation process. Time Estimate how long each task takes & timeframe of overall stage. Tasks Indicate tasks involved in each stage.
  31. Map your steps Dependencies List approvals or actions needed to

    keep things going. Progress & Status Indicate level of completion for each task and stage. Deadlines or Milestones Indicate important project dates or scheduled completion date. (continued)
  32. Putting it into action CONTENT TYPE: Email Newsletter STAGES &

    TASKS: 1. Plan: Brainstorm topics 2. Draft: Write email 3. Review: Edit email 4. Revise: Update email 5. Approve: Test & sign-off 6. Schedule: Upload to CMS 7. Publish: Send email 8. Measure: Track results
  33. Putting it into action CONTENT TYPE: Email Newsletter REMEMBER:

    Estimate work hours for each task. Update status: To-do, In-Progress, Review, Blocked, Done
  34. Refer to your group's selected content type. Let's practice (GROUP

    EXERCISE) List the specific tasks in each stage. List the stages involved in the content's creation.
  35. Break time! Get up and stretch. Re-fill your coffee. Take

    a bathroom break. Then come back and join us!
  36. #3 BUILDING BLOCK People Know who is involved or needs

    to be informed, including how and when. WHY IT MATTERS... Persons responsible and accountable for content, and their specific role.
  37. Common Roles PROJECT OWNER Oversee overall project and/ or team

    PROJECT MANAGER Manage day-to-day project tasks STRATEGIST Define, set & manage content EDITOR Review and edit content DESIGNER Create images, graphics & UI DEVELOPER Build CMS and publish content WRITER Author and revise content SME Provide area expertise & review content
  38. Involvement

  39. Identify your team Roles List the people involved in the

    process. Authority Indicate whether or not they make final approval/ decisions. Responsibilities List their involvement with completing the task.
  40. Refer to your group's content process. List the roles involved

    at each stage in the process. Mark the roles that have final approval. Let's practice (GROUP EXERCISE)
  41. Praise Break! Dust your shoulders off. You've made a workflow!

  42. Together PUTTING IT ALL Plan You can it share with

    leadership and team for greater adherence. WHY IT MATTERS... Written record of the process and people involved in creating a specific content type.
  43. Write it up & share Get it on paper Map

    out the process using flip chart & Post-it's notes. Use a tool Use a collaborative tool (e.g. Trello, Airtable, Jira) to manage workflow. Type it up Document this map in visually engaging way.
  44. Putting it into action LET'S USE AIRTABLE TO: Collaborate with

    your team in real-time. Manage tasks and track progress. Help visualize your workflow.
  45. Why Airtable? Free Flexible Collaborative Real-time updates

  46. Break time! Get up and stretch. Re-fill your coffee. Take

    a bathroom break. Then come back and join us!
  47. Document your workflow!

  48. Open up Airtable View workflow template here. (Create your

    free account.)
  49. Break time! Get up and stretch. Re-fill your coffee. Take

    a bathroom break. Then come back and join us!
  50. Let's recap!

  51. But first, let's be real.

  52. Changing workflow is a culture shift.

  53. Involve, train, and check-in with your team.

  54. Now, let's recap!

  55. P P P P PRODUCT Know what content you're building

    and creating. PROCESS Know the steps and tasks needed to complete and publish content. PLAN OF ACTION Document and share this process with your team. PEOPLE Know who is involved and their specific role. THE 4 P'S
  56. Learn More VISIT: Gather Content's "Content Process" blog posts.* (RESOURCES)

    READ: How to make sense out of any mess by Amy Covert Content everywhere by Sara Wachter-Boettcher Content management tips from Airtable's blog * Check out my Gather Content blog post.
  57. Let's Reflect What's the most useful thing you learned today?

    1. How will you apply this learning to your work? 2. What challenges do you anticipate? Share one way you could address it. 3.
  58. Let's Connect /malaikacarpenter @MalaikaInk FOLLOW ME: VISIT: saycredmediagroup@

    NEED MORE HELP? Hire me!
  59. Thank you! A workshop by Malaika Carpenter