One of the most crucial content challenges to resolve is effective coordination of everyone involved in creating, publishing, and distributing content—and that’s likely to be almost everyone in your organization.
A few years ago, a hive of content-related job titles made the rounds, which showed some of the core people involved in the content process.
This hive can be an eye-opener, especially if you thought that creating effective content only involves writing and posting to the Web.
But as anyone who’s ever looked for a content-related position knows, job titles aren’t exactly standardized—a “Producer” in one organization might be in charge of shooting, editing, and posting video content, while elsewhere the role could be focused on entering content into a content management system and then distributing it on a wide variety of platforms and channels.
Fuzzy job titles are problematic for job seekers and recruiters, but also for internal and external clients. They have a content-related request…but who is responsible?
It needs to be posted on the website, so I talk to…the Web Producer?
It’s a marketing brochure…the Marketing Manager?
I want to post this on Facebook and Twitter…the Community Manager?
It needs a short paragraph…the Web writer?
All of the above…the Content Strategist?
You can’t expect a client or collaborator to be familiar with your team’s idiosyncratic organizational structure.
Within a team, too, confusion around responsibilities often reigns. Mere job titles don’t help individual team members understand how their work fits into the overall efforts of the team. Even the people you collaborate with most closely are probably working on a slew of tasks you aren’t aware of, some of which may impact your joint project work.
Job titles also don’t help much with assigning new projects that don’t fall into predefined job descriptions, which can lead to much unproductive time spent on fights over new territory.
A hive of content tasks
Instead of a hive consisting of job titles, it can be useful to consider the content responsibilities your team takes on. For instance, a marketing and communications team may be expected to handle these functions:
Content planning and strategy
Web production and content distribution
Web and mobile development and project management
Online marketing, advertising, and analytics
This hive visualizes how various tasks associated with content interact with each other.
Planning and strategy responsibilities should inform what content is created and when, what core branding messages the content should convey, and how the content that’s created should be managed, promoted, tracked, and analyzed to create a virtuous learning cycle in which content becomes more closely synched with the needs of users and potential clients, as well as with the organization’s business goals.
Internal communication and managing media relationships may seem tangential content responsibilities, but are core pieces of the hive and content should be planned, created, and managed to accommodate their needs. Web and mobile development and project management , finally, determine how fast and in what formats and what platforms content can be published.
Assessing and redefining roles
Once you determine your content responsibility set—which will depend on business goals and what your clients need and expect from you—the next step is to determine for each of these functions who should be involved, and which elements are not adequately staffed.
It can also be helpful to look at individual contributors to determine what exactly they are working on within this set of responsibilities. You may find that some positions are very narrowly circumscribed, while others span a wide range of responsibilities.