Last year Duchesnay, the manufacturer of drug DICLEGIS, got in hot water with the FDA. The company used pregnant celebrity Kim Kardashian to endorse their morning sickness medication. The post included links to the official drug page and that’s when the trolling began. Now that Kardashian's 40+ million followers were not exposed to this endorsement for the drug was deemed "false or misleading".
Today, more companies are creating content to support branding and demand generation than ever before. Increase in customers’ engagement with digital and growing channels (social – LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest) is driving the need for more content. There is a need to create and publish content quickly. This has also exposed more brands to reputation issues for producing incorrect information or data.
To manage risk or rather more importantly to support scale, organizations need a Content Governance Model. In simple terms, Content Governance is a mix of policies and processes, security, and editorial guidelines for producing content. The model helps bring in scale, sustainability, repeatability and security for marketing content. Content Governance Model is nothing but a plan to help you achieve your content strategy.
While many Content Management Systems (CMS) purport to take care of governance, the tools are only as good as the process you create. I tell clients to 'Define before they Design'. Through this content piece, I wish to share some tips on how one can develop a simple, and easy to use, Content Governance Model.
Following are the challenges that the Content Governance model should cater to:
The first step towards a good governance model is to formulate a Content Governance Steering Committee. The committee must comprise of key members including the editorial lead.
The Content Steering Committee works establish standards and ensure compliance. This committee must exist at multiple levels and hold several roles such as:
Some recommendations on the structure are that at an executive level Steering Committees all policy level decisions, content strategy, technology decisions and content management platforms can be made, however, at unit level and day to day level, decisions can be decentralized on content review, content approval and publishing.
In order to get everyone involved with the higher degree of commitment, the committee members can meet at regular intervals - once a month, to identify key issues faced by different communities, customers and provide recommendations.
Your structure and needs are unique and so are your governance policies and processes. For example, how important is the speed of publishing vs the approval process? Are the marketing and content teams centrally organized or everything is de-centralized? How many people across the organization need to review the content? What are the levels of risk you are comfortable with?
Before a site is launched, consideration has to be given to the end readers and frequency of content updation? For example, on an e-commerce website like Amazon, content updates are every second. You need to define the roles and responsibilities in terms of editors, reviewers, approvers, publishers. The content life cycle has the following steps:
Define Content Lifecycle
Set a workflow to ensure that processes and the steps in the content lifecycle are followed. The workflow should permit access to all the users to edit and approve.
Establish Editorial Guidelines
The Web Content Steering Committee will then make some clear guidelines for content production. There needs to be a central repository where style guides are created, followed and implemented. And everyone in the organization must develop content in line with the official editorial guidelines. A good rule of thumb is that the guidelines should be precise and clear – it’s much easier to read a one-pager style guide than a ten-pager guide.Ensure Regulatory Requirements Are Considered
The regulator requirements are many, and it becomes difficult to meet the expectations if processes are not documented while taking care of these needs. Be it, Sarbanes Oxley Act 2002, HIPAA (The Health Information Portability and Accountability Act), PCI –Payment Card Industry or any other. Global websites today pose more challenges than localized websites. These local sites assure that all legal and regulatory requirements are met and regularly updated.
Since companies have a high volume of data online on their websites, social and other channels, security is considered critical. For example, validate how secure your website is, what tools you must use to ensure content is held securely. You must identify resources to perform certain tasks and use tools in your CMS. And, most importantly, your CMS should be able to manage workflows.
Daily, about 30,000 websites are victimized to hacking, and with this frequency, it becomes imperative to choose a reliable website CMS.
To avoid your software from getting hacked, have the following
The hackers today target website vulnerabilities through some of the penetration tools and figure out a code or a page where a malicious code can be inserted.
Some tricks to safeguard your information
All the above steps become ineffective if people are not trained and refuse to adhere to the guidelines.
Finally, to conclude well, a Content Governance Model brings you success when the right set of people, processes and tools are put in place to define a robust strategy. But do remember, these steps further need to be implemented along with measuring the effectiveness through a strict audit program.