CMSWire community contributors work in the trenches of information management, enterprise collaboration and web engagement. In this weekly aggregation we highlight a few of the most impactful community articles.

Article 1: Is Collaboration the End of Process?

In this article, Deb Lavoy (@deb_lavoy) aims to shake up the belief that if you're a collaborator, you must be opposed to process:

 A process (in the more ideal than evil world) is an embodiment of learning. It's a way to automatically follow some best practices so that you don't have to expend effort or brain cells figuring out how to do it. It scales very well defined tasks, and ensures compliance with various rules, regulations and policies. Processes have their limitations — they aren't good at learning, experimenting or adapting. Which is of course what collaboration is extremely good at.

But do we want to be collaborators supported by processes? One commenter, Michael Hamilton, agreed, stating that there needs to be some sort of synergy or process and collaboration for organizations to be productive in today's environment. 

As for technology bridging this gap, Lavoy says: 

Technology should be flexible and usable enough to let people break out of process into discussion and initiate process from a collab environment. but this is less about the technology than it is about thinking about it properly.


Article 2: Smart Engagement: Public Relations Tips for Startups

A job well done in the world of PR helps organizations raise their profile and awareness, and promote new products, services, visions and ideas. 

Unfortunately, it's no secret that companies don't get equal treatment from the media-- especially startups. In this article, Anne de Forsan (@adeforsan) asks a question that most small businesses are eager for an answer to: How can you be heard, listened to and understood by over-solicited journalists, when you're so damn disruptive that you're doing nothing less than providing the world with its new Alpha and Omega?

Anne's answer comes from over 20 years of experience in PR, and can be broken down into three major steps:

  • Smart strategy — aka SmarTegy
  • A survival kit of basics rules to create your announcements and engage with editors
  • How to leverage external PR professionals.


Article 3:  ECM + WCM = Your Portal Strategy

In this article, Kimberly Samuelson makes a thoughtful point: 

By selecting an ECM system with a “baked-in” public portal, organizations can offer a view in to their public-facing information and a way to integrate their Web content management with their enterprise content management.

In other words, It’s one thing to have a portal strategy, but it’s an entirely different thing to have an integrated portal approach. According to Samuelson, the latter should begin by addressing things such as governance and structure, customer focus and content management processes:

  • Governance: Information-driven portals should be managed as a subset of the organization’s governance framework. This allows the organization to be proactive, rather than reactive, in terms of risk management and security.
  • Customer focus: Dynamic personalization is the big sexy. Sites like Google and Amazon have raised our expectations in terms of information how — and when — we want it.
  • Content management processes: Tying together ECM and WCM can enable complex, cross-functional processes at the value chain level. This is a real game changer — adapting core elements of ECM (search and retrieval, imaging, capture and records management) and repackaging them as information-driven workflows that power business activities via the Web. This is commonly packaged as a customer communication value chain. Depending on the organization and customer, these process chains can be as simple as a Web form to request sales and marketing materials or as complex as full-blown customer order management.


Article 4: Employee Engagement Affects Collaboration

Earlier this year, consulting and analyst firm Blessing White released its 2011 employee engagement report. As Christopher Rice, the CEO of Blessing White, states, “This report is designed to move beyond the high-level numbers to provide you with a framework that will help your organization to start moving the needle on engagement.”

In this article, Jacob Morgan (@jacobm) reviews the report, starting with the 5 levels of employee engagement: 

  • The Engaged: High contribution and high satisfaction
  • Almost Engaged: Medium to high contribution and satisfaction
  • Honeymooners & Hamsters: Medium to high satisfaction but low contribution
  • Crash & Burners: Medium to high contribution but low satisfaction
  • The Disengaged: Low to medium contribution and satisfaction