Content Strategy and Planning

Articles covering technical communications strategy.

Editorial Calendar Template (cross-functional)

This Editorial Calendar template lets team members see what content needs to be created or reworked to address the overall user experience, and invites new ideas on reusing content to support all phases of buyer journey from awareness through consumption of the product (or service). Continue reading ...

Book Review: Content Strategy 101 by Sarah O’Keefe and Alan Pringle

Sarah S. O’Keefe and Alan S. Pringle of Scriptorium Publishing tried a fascinating experiment in putting together their latest book, “Content Strategy 101.” They crowd-sourced the development, seeking commentary, feedback on the structure and content, and reviews from a wide range of content and technical communication professionals via the contentstrategy101.com website. Jacquie Samuels, a content strategy veteran, and Roger Renteria, a graduate of tech comm studies read the book at the website and offer their perspectives in this “mini-crowd-sourced” review. Continue reading ...

Product Documentation as Conversation

Book Review: Conversation and Community — The Social Web for Documentation

Anne Gentle has been involved in creating documentation in wikis for awhile now. In the 2009 first edition of Conversation and Community: The Social Web for Documentation, she offered her experiments as a practical guide to persuading management to bring users into your documentation projects. In the expanded second edition, Gentle adds the experiences of other technical communicators to make the case for taking advantage of passionate users to create the best possible docs for your software. Continue reading ...

Unified Content That Serves the Customer: Let’s Come Out of the Dark Ages

As user advocates, we technical writers should be outraged at the hoops our users have to jump through to find the information they need just because different kinds of content are created by different departments. All too often each department pushes content out to customers in their own ways, for their own reasons, which means we’ve created a mess of the entire user experience. Users ought to find everything they need, from training videos to operating system requirements, from high-level content to detailed tasks, from reviews to troubleshooting guides, in one place. I know, what a radical concept: make things easy. Continue reading ...

Integrated Technical Communications & the Content Revolution

A highly regarded content development consultant, Joe Gollner, the Content Philosopher, uses his wide-ranging experience and interests to inform his insight into the current challenges and future opportunities presented to technical communications by the content revolution. TechWhirl met with Joe during LavaCon 2011 to discuss the role of technical communications in enterprise content strategy. Continue reading ...

Building the Business Case for Technical Communicators by Leveraging Talent, Skills and Passion

Corey Ganser is enthusiastic about how customer support should be and how his company, MindTouch excels at providing exceptional help service products to popular companies such as HP, PayPal, Toyota, Mozilla, Autodesk, even Microsoft. At LavaCon, Corey shared his insights on how technical communicators must demonstrate to managers that they are a strategic component and valuable asset to the company: in marketing, revenue, documentation, and technical support. Continue reading ...

LavaCon Session Summary: Sarah O’Keefe on Tech Comm Content Strategy

The key to a great content strategy is to figure out goals first, then develop strategy and tactics. Figure out business goals first. This means identifying the very high level business reasons behind the content, which could include increasing product visibility, avoiding legal exposure, reducing volume of support calls, meeting regulatory requirements, or building the user community and thus loyalty. Continue reading ...