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Getting your content strategy to work (in the real world), part 1 - tl;dr

Sector Ecosystem

The tl;dr problem - shorthand for 'too long; didn't read' - is not only a reality you face with your online audience, your teams will be 'offenders' as well. 

The problem is two-sided - your content strategy might actually be too long, and too inaccessible; and your team members might not get the rtfm (read the fine manual) approach.

Make it shorter 

Making things shorter takes effort. 

The rules on how to make your documentation shorter are the same as for writing for an online audience. 

  • Know your audience 
  • Do less (kill your darlings) 
  • Frontload 
  • Ask for feedback
  • Continuous improvement. Publish fast; never stop making it shorter and better

Maybe the best way to improve your documentation is to read it aloud to somebody who has no time to listen to you. Don’t get stuck inside your own head or document. 

Make it more accessible 

  • Find a space in the open - let others see your work. No paper, no PDF; write in the open and online. 
  • Switch the focus from you to your audience - make your message relate to your team.
  • Accessible writing is useful, usable writing. Make it so. 

Win your team over

  • Ask for feedback.
  • Give feedback. Positive and negative. If you want things to change 'feed back'. 
  • Stick to your own rules - set a precedent. If you put it in the strategy, use it!
  • Convince, cajole, get face-to-face in workshops and training sessions. 
  • Pick your battles. You can't win all the time on all fronts. Pick the top three things that would make your content or publication process better and focus on them.    

Want to know more?

Check out our content strategy series on our blog

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Heike Theis

Heike is part of the Sector team at Sparks Interactive and, together with Dave Sparks, the project owner for the Sector Drupal Distribution. 

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