The Contented Stakeholder

By | March 28, 2017

stakeholder engagementAs content has so many touch points across multiple functions and within any organisation, it is critical that stakeholders are engaged with any significant digital content transformation or content-focused project.

First of all top marks to all stakeholders if they realise that the business should consider (or reconsider) its digital presence, if they are open-minded about the fact that improvements should be made and, above all, if they have initiated the need.

Stakeholders want to see any projects succeed and are on your side to ensure that such an important business asset – content – is effectively managed and deployed. Although they will ask searching questions they are often experienced subject matter experts and a great source of knowledge.

Take them with you on the journey

Whilst engagement will necessarily be at a high level, a good synergy is beneficial and challenging stakeholders’ assumptions, as well as heeding their advice, can bring clarity and a different viewpoint to many projects.

There is a balance to be struck between the need to create content which is not only business driven but also has an ‘outside-in’ focus on the customer experience, and taking into account the business need is as important as creating the content itself. All content is central and not peripheral to any form of digital transformation and putting the foundations in place and working collaboratively is key, so consider the following:

  • assess how content can help stakeholders to meet their business need
  • agree objectives up front
  • select realised defined criteria
  • keep stakeholders in the loop and share core outcomes

The science bit

I’ve described how to get started on content measurement in a recent article for GatherContent. Understanding the needs and goals of an organisation facilitates the creation of finite definitions of content quality and engagement. It is therefore a relatively straightforward process to develop high level content metrics related to business performance which can be shared with stakeholders to demonstrate how content is measurably contributing to the business. Stakeholder requirements may include, for example:

  • time to market
  • defined ownership
  • in-context review
  • findability
  • speed of updates
  • impact on KPIs

In summary, it’s worth committing time and energy to interact, engage and develop relationships with stakeholders, to clarify expectations and establish an ongoing dialogue for any content-focused project.