Does this story sound familiar?
“Fifteen years ago, our institution didn’t really know much about websites. All we knew is that we knew that our current and prospective students (and no small number of our faculty) were on the web, so we needed a website. Fast. So we made one. And when that looked old, we made another one. And then another one. And because academics (and academic administrators) are, by nature, intellectual string savers, we never threw out the old site, we just piled the new one on top of it, intending one day to organize everything. But because academics (and academic administrators) are stretched increasingly thin, that organization never really happened. And in the meantime, that warren of lean-tos that is our “new” website is looking a little stale again. It could use a redesign. And some video. And a mobile platform. And there’s all this social media stuff to integrate. And now some consultant is telling us that we have to inventory every last scrap of content on our existing website in order to properly “manage” it. Well, we have an M.I.A. Super Bowl Halftime Show gesture for you.”
mStoner has a different approach to content management. One that takes into account the complexities of your overall communication efforts and the realities of your available staff time. Some of you might be able to do a complete content inventory and may be sitting on a site rich with content that’s worth an inventory. Some of you may be better off burning down the old house next time you move houses. Most of you will be somewhere in between. mStoner’s approach meets you where you are, with the staff and the content you have, and helps you develop an individualized, actionable content strategy that ensures you’re using print, web and social media to their maximum effectiveness while maintaining a level of . . . what’s it called? . . . oh, yeah . . . sanity.
Instead of starting with content, we start with audience. Who are they? Why are they important to you? Then we move to message. What 2 or 3 things do you want each of those audiences to know? From there, which media are you (or should you be) using to convey those messages? Only then do we address content. What text, photos, and video best convey the messages we want to deliver to the audiences we want to reach in the media the prefer? If that content already exists, where does it live? Who owns it? What shape is it in? If it doesn’t exist, what can we live without, and what do we need to create? And what’s the most efficient way of creating it? Using this approach, your website serves your audiences rather than serving the content. It becomes a delivery mechanism rather than an overwhelmingly difficult to organize and maintain warehouse for your content. Your new website is a stage, and your old website is the junk shop you raid for props and costumes to put on your play.
Now if we could only figure out a way to have a content garage sale.