What Hath Halvorson Wrought?

So, Kristina Halvorson is the author of Content Strategy for the Web.

Kristina Halvorson - image is from Wikipedia and therefore under a Creative Commons licenseI was excited to hear her speak to the Content Strategy New England Meet Up group on May 24, 2010.

What are the Essential Elements of Content Strategy?

  • Auditing and Assessment – what’s the available content? What are the skill sets of the persons in the organization? What is their work flow? What do their competitors do? What are the needs? What are the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)?
  • Messaging/Substance – what are you trying to say? What should your readers leave with or act upon? Can you archive older, less vital material in order to retain it but also have it leave more room for content that is more in demand?
  • Structure – usability and design are key. Make it easy to browse for and search for content. Add a taxonomy and metadata.
  • Workflow and Governance – what are the tools to move content through an organization? What are the metrics, and how will they be analyzed? How does the organization decide which content is going to go out there? Who makes the decisions?

Companies With Issues

Ms. Halvorson talked a lot about working with companies that simply do not seem to get it. She made it clear that these strategies need to be implemented by humans, not automated CMS systems.

Tips included:

  • Make and stick to an Editorial Calendar
  • Create a Governance Policy
  • Identify Standards and Goals
  • Create and adhere to Benchmarks
  • Establish Guidelines
  • Create a Content Inventory

The truth is, over 12 years later, all of this still applies.

Recommendations from Halvorson

She recommended not only her own book but also a blog post by Rachel Lovinger, The Philosophy of Data.

And she had one final whimsical, yet still serious tip: When you find cool stuff, tweet about it.

And so we will.

2 Responses

  1. Great summary.

    I too enjoyed her simple methodology for CS. Not only was she not intimidating, but neither was her approach, leaving us all with the feeling that we can do this!

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