Posted on February 24, 2015 by Josh Tong - Theory and practice
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 . . .
Posted on January 12, 2015 by Josh Tong - Tools and resources
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 . . .
Posted on December 15, 2014 by Josh Tong - Theory and practice
Sometimes the least glamorous social channels are the most powerful. Learn where your audience goes for information, and find a way to join the conversation. Read more . . .
Posted on December 6, 2014 by Josh Tong - Tools and resources
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 . . .
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 . . .
Posted on October 21, 2014 by Josh Tong - Reviews
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 . . .
Posted on July 10, 2014 by Josh Tong - Theory and practice
If we want our content to reach its full potential, then we need content strategy and content marketing to work together. Otherwise, we’ll only frustrate our readers, our stakeholders, and ourselves.
What’s holding us back, and how can we move forward? Read more . . .
Posted on June 30, 2014 by Josh Tong - Events
What challenges do content strategists face when working for the government? Three content strategists for government agencies shared stories and advice during a panel discussion on June 26, 2014. Read more . . .
Posted on June 22, 2014 by Josh Tong - Theory and practice
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 . . .