Content Planning

Creating a content plan

Content is king. It not only drives employee adoption but long-term engagement. Too many organizations underestimate its importance and the amount of time it takes to create a content plan that supports your digital workplace solution.

Building a Content Plan

Why build a content plan?

Your content plan ties your entire digital workplace strategy together. Without relevant content (at both the global and solution level), all the planning and work to create your visual design, site structure, navigation, and wireframes quickly become irrelevant. 

Sounds extreme, doesn't it?

A digital workplace without great content is just an empty shell.  It has no real purpose and your employees won't use it. Remember, every time an employee visits your digital workplace, it's for a specific reason. They might visit to read company news, collaborate on a project, or look for knowledge and expertise within the organization. Whatever the reason, employees come to your digital workplace to accomplish daily tasks as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Guiding principles for valuable content:

  • Publish content that is easy to find
  • Publish content that is relevant
  • Update content regularly so it doesn't go stale or become outdated 
  • Use descriptive titles, headings, and summaries so employees don't waste time searching for the information they need
  • Apply content rules and policies for drafting, publishing, and governing

Where do you start?

Your content plan starts at a global scale, delivering on your overall corporate goals and objectives outlined in your digital workplace plan. It also drives business outcomes and the employee behavior you are trying to achieve with your digital workplace. To get started, Igloo recommends building two types of plans:

  1. Global content plan: A content strategy for the entire site that impacts all users.
  2. Solution content plan: A content strategy focused on specific solutions, such as a Newsroom or Onboarding Center, that only impacts users interacting with that solution.

Your content plans should consist of a continuous cycle that defines the entire editorial content development process for your digital workplace, including guidelines for content requirements, roles and responsibilities, formatting, and writing. It should ensure that employees can easily find content, and are notified when new content is added or existing content is updated.  

We recommend building content plans that are based on a simple three-stage cycle:

  1. Creation: Plan, write, and review content for specific audiences.
  2. Publishing: Put content into a template, publish in the write area/channel, add keywords and metadata, and make sure it serves a purpose and provides value.
  3. Management: Set up policies for accessing, reviewing, archiving, and deleting content (as required). 

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Seems like a daunting task. Right?

It doesn't have to be. Here are five questions to consider when building a successful global content plan:

  1. What content should be created and why?
  2. Who will create the content?
  3. How will the content be created? 
  4. Where will the content be published (and where will it need to be surfaced, if needed in multiple locations)?
  5. How will the content be managed and governed?

Sample Content Plan

Content Plan: Newsroom Solution 

This is an example of a simple content plan focused on a specific business challenge: corporate communications. The plan outlines specific goals and objectives the organization is trying to achieve to ensure the content strategy aligns with the overall digital workplace plan. It also summarizes how the content for the Newsroom Solution will be governed, including content creation, publishing, approvals, and day-to-day management.  

Plan Summary

The company will be launching an online Corporate Newsroom Solution in the fourth quarter of this year. It's called the "Pulse" and will be accessible to all employees in the company, but not to partners or subcontractors. The Pulse will bring the company one step closer to a centralized communication strategy. 

All corporate communications will flow through the Pulse using specific news channels to organize articles by topic. The Pulse will be available to employees using a browser, email, and mobile phone. Employees can view articles, add comments, like articles, and rate articles. They will also be encouraged to provide feedback to make the Pulse better.

The day-to-day operations of the Pulse will be managed by our Marketing and Communications team and a cross-functional Steering Committee will govern the overall strategy, resourcing, and funding. 

The VP of Corporate Communications will act as the executive sponsor.

Goals

  1. Improve corporate communications across the company and departments.
  2. Improve corporate transparency between staff and executives.
  3. Increase the overall understanding of our corporate strategy by employees.
  4. Build trust and loyalty with employees.

Objectives

  1. Create a centralized online news area to share corporate and team communications. 
  2. Ensure at least one new article is posted per week. 
  3. Ensure at least one executive/CEO article is posted per month.
  4. Achieve 75% employee open rate of all news articles across the company.
  5. Allow employee feedback and engagement on articles. 

Publishing Tool

The Pulse will leverage a blogs application for publishing news articles to the company. Blogs are the ideal tool for sharing news in the Pulse because of the following key features:

  • Authors can write, format, and edit in the browser, as well as add images and/or videos, using the WYSIWYG editor.
  • Articles can be categorized by audience or topic using channels. 
  • Automatic notifications can be set up on a specific frequency including daily, weekly, or monthly.
  • Articles can be configured to allow users to comment, rate, and like articles.
  • Permissions can be set up to restrict access to any channel or article.
  • Articles can be archived automatically on a schedule.
  • Articles can be searched, pinned, and tagged.

Digital Workplace Solutions

Blogs as a communication tool are leveraged within the following digital workplace solutions:

  • Newsroom
  • Leadership Center
  • Team Room
  • Boardroom
  • Management Center
  • Virtual Town Hall

Typical Use Cases

The following are typical use cases for blogs in the digital workplace. These use cases are generally incorporated into digital workplace solutions.

  • Featured news
  • Regional news
  • CEO blog
  • Departmental news
  • Team and project news feed

Blog Settings

  • Authoring, Publishing, and Emails
  • Archiving and Retention
  • Activity Auditing 
  • Broadcasts, Notifications, and Following
  • Display and Configuration (Widget)
  • Drafts, Approvals, and Moderation
  • File Attachments
  • Permissions
  • Sharing
  • Social: Commenting, Rating, and Likes
  • Notifications and Subscriptions
  • Tagging
  • Tasks

News Channels

The following news channels will be available at launch. Additional news channels will be added over time based on feedback from employees and approval by the Steering Committee. 

  1. Corporate news
  2. IT news
  3. HR news
  4. Marketing news

Ownership & Authors

The following departments will manage news channels within the Pulse. They are responsible for the publishing of all news articles within their specific channel. This includes review and approvals. 

  • Corporate Communications
  • Information Technology 
  • Human Resources
  • Marketing

Publishing Standard Operating Procedures

  • One article per month for each channel.
  • All articles must be approved by the department head using moderation.
  • All news channels must have an approved template. 
  • All news articles must have a title, summary, maximum of three paragraphs, tags, and a graphical element.
  • Channels must have notifications set to daily.
  • Comments, likes, and rating must be enabled on every news channel. 
  • Authors must respond to employee comments within one day.

Search

All new articles published in the Pulse will be fully searchable and include filters for searching by:

  • Channel
  • Author
  • Date
  • Tag

Archiving

All news articles published in the Pulse will be archived on a yearly basis unless otherwise instructed by the Steering Committee. This will improve searchability of news articles as the Pulse grows in content and also allow for any changes in compliance regulations in the future.

Featured News

It is the responsibility of the Marketing and Communications team to pin specific news articles that are deemed "highly important" at the top of the daily feed (e.g. an acquisition, change in policy, or update from the CEO).

Notifications & Subscriptions

All employees will be auto-subscribed to every news channel in the Pulse. They will receive an email digest of new articles published in the Pulse everyday. 

Reporting & Analytics

All activity in the Pulse will be measured by the Marketing and Communications team to ensure engagement and adoption. Depending on the activity, they will recommend updates and changes to the Steering Committee. 

User activity will be measured overall and by news channel, and will include the following metrics:

  • # of logins
  • # of views
  • # likes
  • # of comments
  • Overall rating
  • Top news channels
  • Top articles
  • Top authors

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