In last week’s article, Content Strategy: 7 Practical Tips for Getting Stakeholder Buy In, we talked about how to get stakeholders to buy-in to your new content strategy. A critical step in implementing a content strategy is achieving this consensus. The next challenge is making sure that all of your stakeholders understand and keep up-to-date with your content strategy.

Again, content strategy is a plan on how to create, deliver and maintain your content. It’s possible you have different professionals in various roles handling the different stages of the content lifecycle. Communicating the essentials, as well as the details, will be the fundamental cornerstone for the success of the overall strategy.

Here are some practical tips to help you be more effective in communicating your organization’s content strategy:

  1. Build a team that understands what they each bring to the table
    Content strategy is new and most people don’t really understand what it means. Help the professionals who are engaged in this process -- many of whom are not Web professionals -- to understand why their unique skill set, or their role within the greater organization is of fundamental value to the strategy.

    For example, if an administrative assistant updates her divisions’ bios on a regular basis, make sure she understands why she needs to follow the style guide.
  2. Send out weekly emails with no more than 2 tips/rules
    Make a list of 4-5 major categories you want everyone to understand about the goals of the content strategy. Then, once a week, send out an email that gives people 2 tips within each category. Keep it very short -- no more than 2 paragraphs. If you can, make it funny -- this is the hard part.
  3. Trumpet successes in the organization
    This one is easy to do, but success take work to pinpoint. When you do find a good example of how the content strategy solved a problem, led to profit or some other ROI, write it up and send it around.

    Don’t write a whitepaper or business case -- it isn’t necessary (unless you want to share it at the next content strategy conference). Just demonstrate the problem, show how the individual followed strategy to solve it, and say your words of thanks. Reward the professional responsible -- it doesn’t have to be extravagant, but it should demonstrate appreciation.
  4. Host a free lunch
    #1 rule in business: no one says no to free food. Once a month, ask the team to join you for a free lunch. Spend half the time socializing and half the time talking about content strategy. Be open to constructive criticism, comments and feedback. Show that you listened by changing what wasn’t working and reporting it to the group the following month.
  5. Make sure analytics are available
    Inform and educate your team about how they can use your analytics package. Or, give them reports on a regular basis. Make it a point to discuss the analytics so everyone can understand how to use them and what they mean. Look at that -- I already gave you the first topic of your free lunch.

I’m interested to hear what has worked in your organization. Let the commenting begin!