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Content Governance: What Is It, Why You Need It, And How To Do It

Governance is at the core of a sustainable content strategy. In fact, without a solid plan for the people and process aspects of content strategy, a content strategy effort cannot succeed. Content governance determines how content gets created, approved, published, and managed. It includes:

  • Content governance model
  • Content roles and responsibilities
  • Content workflow and lifecycles
  • Content success metrics

But it’s not generic: Each organization has to create a governance structure that fits into its culture and its other workings.

And once you have content governance in place:

  • Everyone knows how things work
  • Everyone understands the expectations, and knows how they will be enforced
  • If people do content/digital work, it is an official part of their job descriptions, and they’re measured on how well they do it
  • People are trained in content/digital skills (current and new employees)
  • Content/digital policies are communicated and enforced, part of new employee orientation

Elements of content governance

  1. Content lifecycle
  • What is the default amount of time for content to stay live? What content types, formats, or topics need a different timeframe?
  • Here are all the considerations you need to avoid content ROT (redundant, outdated, or trivial) (PDF)
  1. Team structure and staffing
  1. Oversight

What kind of overview team do we need, and what will be our escalation paths if we ever need them?

  1. Request processes

How will content owners inform us about content they plan to produce? How should they involve us in the process of creating, publishing, and promoting it?

  1. Review processes

What content review processes will we need to have, and which processes will we use for which content?

  1. Authority

Who will have the final say for content edits?

  1. Success metrics

What are our success metrics for content?

  1. Content access levels

What content is public and what is password-protected, what are the criteria for that, and do we need more than one type of password protection?

  1. Taxonomy and Best Bets governance

How often will we review on-site search Best Bets and taxonomy terms? Who will participate, and in what capacity?

  1. Implementation plan

What can we do now, and what will we need to phase in over time? Can we create that timeline?

 

We help organizations create governance plans. If you need this, please reach out!

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