In a new content management environment, some writers refuse to give up ownership of “their books“. They work alone in the safety of their self-built silos. They desperately try to protect their work from others, keeping their arms wrapped firmly around their computers so their files won’t be shared with anyone. After all, their work might get “messed up“ if anyone else touches it! (We all know at least one of these writers, right? Or maybe we are one of these writers!?)
Content reuse and collaboration are big concepts of a content management strategy that produce huge benefits for an organization. So, how can you break down the silos and get writers to buy into these concepts? Here are a few tips to give them a little nudge in the right direction:
Give a little control.
Even though content may be managed as reusable content components in a CMS, there is a concept of content ownership that can be applied to modules of content. Assign the writers to a content ownership group where they can have some responsibility for the condition of a set of content. Content ownership gives writers a sense of comfort, and it helps to maintain the integrity of the associated content.
Give them a role.
Assign the writers to a specific role within the content lifecycle, and use workflow to include them in the editorial process. When they are assigned specific tasks, they can perform their role while still being a part of a team effort with others in the workflow to publish quality content.
Get their input.
Include the writers in a collaborative review process to get their feedback and spark discussion with other reviewers to boost the integrity of the content. Collaborative reviews are done electronically, so they can work in the comfort of their own office or home while participating in a group effort.
Let them enforce.
In the editorial team effort, make the writers a part of a planning team to develop corporate styles. Let them train other writers or enforce standards and processes. Channel their strengths into tasks that will benefit both them and the company.
Call us at 717-764-9720 or visit our website for help in getting started with your content management strategy.