Keeping it Fresh: The 6 Pillars of Web Content Governance

Content. It is the bane of existence for web marketing managers everywhere. As soon as a new site is up and running, the content is getting old in inaccurate by the minute. Chasing business owners to revise, update or write new content is a constant struggle. To make it worse, many areas may not have an owner at all..

Fancy CMS systems were supposed to solve all that with expiration dates on content and distributed ownership but the tools themselves are just the means. People still need to use them.

That is where Web Content Governance comes in.

Web Content Governance is the overall approach to the way content is created, managed and maintained intended to ensure consistency, accuracy, relevance and compliance. It generally comprises of 6 main components: Process, Structure, Policies, Standards, Ownership, Processes and the Systems that are used to enable, enforce and automate them.

The details of each component vary between companies but generally include the following:

  • Process
    • Creation
    • Updates
    • Retention / expiration
    • Archiving
    • Workflows:
      • Editorial review
      • Legal review
      • Brand Review
      • Publishing
  • Structure
    • Content classification
    • Media types
    • Taxonomy and Metadata
    • Hierarchy and inheritance
  • Policies
    • Legal
    • Security
    • Data collection
    • E-mail
  • Ownership
    • Roles
    • Permissions
    • Escalation
  • Standards
    • Brand Guidelines
    • Content guidelines
    • Accessibility
    • Legal
    • Copyrights
  • Systems
    • Content Management System (CMS)
    • Digital Asset Management (DAM)
    • Document Management
    • Business Process Management (BPM)

Few tips and tricks

  1. Assign a bad cop. A senior enough executive who would be the enforcer.
  2. Build a team of champions. Department of area champions who have enough familiarity with the tools and can provide knowledge and communication channel to different business units and groups. The team should meet on a regular basis.
  3. Use automation. The ability to set content expiration is a great way to ensure all content is looked at (however briefly) regularly.
  4. Don’t relinquish control over the last step. Someone from the centralized web / marketing team should still review every page before it is being published

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