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Despite how often it’s used, content is still a misunderstood word. Many believe that content refers solely to pieces that are written or created specifically for customer consumption, either as an informative piece or as a sales tool. Blogs, articles, videos, e-books all come under the content banner, but make up only a few strands of the fabric. When used correctly, content refers to everything that exists in your intranet. This includes files, documents, contracts, PDFs, forms, videos, images, etc. And with the amount of content stored on your system growing by the day, it’s important to start automating content governance across your organisation. Like, today.
But what does automating content governance mean? Let’s break it down.
Content governance is the big-picture management of content and how it’s maintained across your company. It ensures that all content that goes out across your intranet or to customers adheres to your style guide and brand messaging.
The way this works for new and outgoing content is by setting up a process from creation to publication that assigns ownership and requires approval at each stage of the content life cycle. This process doesn’t just apply to a content team or department, if you have one – everyone who creates content for both internal and external use should have a thorough understanding of the steps to ensure consistency and accuracy.
So, if this is how it works for new content, how does governance apply to pieces that are already stored, shared, or published?
As your company evolves, what made sense in the early days may no longer apply today. This could be for several reasons:
Assigning team members to periodically review old content means that everything will be clean, organised, and up to date. But how often should this be happening?
Setting reminders to conduct content governance means that reviewing old documents isn’t an afterthought. It also means you and your teams won’t be hit with such a large to-do list every time.
Consider this strategy for automating content governance:
Every piece of content in your intranet gets a review date. That piece of content is assigned to a team member, who is either the person who wrote it or the most qualified person to assess it. They become the owner of that content. When they receive the automated reminder (which could be anytime from quarterly to annually or more), they go into the piece and review/make relevant changes. Then they submit it for their normal approval process.
This approval process means that the content can be routed to the right person, such as your head of department, to check and sign-off on the piece. You can also submit it to relevant people in other departments if their input/approval is needed. For example, Legal needs to sign off on a policy, or Marketing needs to approve layout. In some cases, this content audit will allow you to delete or archive outdated files.
This process can assures stakeholders that all content is being maintained, reviewed and approved regularly. This means your company can continue growing with confidence that misinformation, errors, or loopholes have been edited or removed.