I have a lot of customers and I’ve worked on a whole lot of intranet projects and for the first time in my life, I have a client that does actually HAVE an editorial content plan for each of their portals (both geographic and business). It’s not a single aligned editorial plan, but the nature of the organization means that doesn’t need to be the case.
With each internal communicator having such a plan, and a series of personae, it was possible to run a workshop testing real content in different display options and assessing the impact of that content structure on:
Strategic message (how you group content sends different messages? – if everything is in line of business containers it doesn’t really show a single integrated company’)
Usability (what volume of content needed to be displayed on a daily basis, what does that mean over the month in terms of number of items, was it enough to consider different groupings in order to make it easier? Was the content in logical groups for the user?)
Manageability (did some groupings become harder to manage for the communicators, did they require changes in editorial planning?)
Of course we only had indicative content, we had to make some assumptions about the levels of unplanned content, but the exercise allowed us to have a very constructive workshop with communicators and let them see what relevance based targeting of content meant in terms of reducing the clutter their consumers saw.
At the end of the workshop we had 20 internal communicators who all had the same view on:
How content would be grouped
How relevance based targeting would reduce the clutter on the desk
How the strategic message of a single organization would be supported
How the local communications needs would still be addressed and highlighted
How editorial plans would need to be aligned for some content types but not for others
2 very long days for everyone but fantastic workshop feedback, total agreement and a strong basis for the next steps of design…
Time for that wine bottle…