Posts By: Josh Tong

About Josh Tong

Josh Tong is a content strategist and content marketer in Washington, DC. He helps colleagues create powerful content through low-cost research, practical plans, and thoughtful implementation.

Here are his most recent posts:

What style of collaboration is right for your project?

Posted on February 24, 2015 by - Theory and practice

Types of collaboration: counselor, coach, partner, facilitator, teacher, modeler, reflective observer, technical adviser, hands-on expert

I’ve been thinking about a question that Sara Wachter-Boettcher recently posed:

Our web-team processes may be more collaborative and iterative than ever—we may be sketching, testing, adapting, and prototyping. But how often are the people who’ll live out our strategies and manage content for the long term . . . included in that process?

She offers great advice about how hands-on workshops can be much more effective than traditional training sessions. I agree that it is far better to build a solution with, not for, the people who need to own it. And as Wachter-Boettcher points out, there are about a million opportunities throughout a project to include other teams in your team’s process.

I believe that one of the most important opportunities occurs at the very outset of a project, before the teams have even agreed to work together.

This is the perfect time to stop and ask each other, “What style of collaboration is right for this project? How can we work better across teams, not just within them?” Read more . . .

A template for content types

Posted on January 12, 2015 by - Tools and resources

Types of content

I’d like to share a tool that I recently put together to address a common content problem.

This tool is not a substitute for a comprehensive content strategy. However, if your organization has not yet decided to create a content strategy, this tool could help nudge teams in that direction while solving some important content issues. Read more . . .

Recommended reading for content strategists and content marketers

Posted on December 6, 2014 by - Tools and resources

book on content strategy

Here are some books and other resources that have been indispensable to my work. I’ve grouped them into several broad categories:

  • Content strategy, information architecture, and user experience
  • Digital marketing, content marketing, and social media
  • Design thinking, change management, and organizational development
  • Marketing and communications
  • Writing and editing
  • Graphic design, layout, and production

Read more . . .

Creating journey maps to improve your content strategy

Posted on November 16, 2014 by - Theory and practice, Tools and resources

Sticky notes for a preliminary journey map

Design thinking allows teams to broaden their perspective by learning about their users’ needs. Teams can then redefine problems from their users’ point of view, generate fresh ideas, and test prototypes with the people who will use the final product or service.

Unfortunately, design thinking makes many organizations uncomfortable. So how can we introduce design thinking in a nonthreatening way? One inexpensive but powerful method is journey mapping. Read more . . .

What is editorial design, and why is it so important to digital publishing?

Posted on October 21, 2014 by - Reviews

Why editorial design matters

The term editorial design has never been more relevant to our digital world:

  • Do you publish content at regular intervals?
  • Do you try to unify this content so it conveys a distinct editorial or creative vision?
  • Do you have a strategy to share your content with readers?

If you answered yes to these questions, you already practice editorial design. But do you practice it well? Read more . . .

Bringing design thinking to communication strategies

Posted on June 22, 2014 by - Theory and practice

Design thinking for communication

There’s no shortage of frameworks and methodologies that promise to improve communication. They streamline workflows, they reassure clients, and they produce standardized deliverables within predictable time frames. But they can also stifle creativity, lead to cookie-cutter solutions, and even fail to ask the right questions.

It’s easy to create a plan. It’s harder to solve a problem. What most frameworks lack is room for design thinking. Read more . . .