I had a boss many years ago who wouldn’t review anything until it was in near publishable form – with design and graphics almost complete. This often meant that by the time he did a first edit on the content of a report or a white paper or a presentation, the entire production team had already put in hours and hours of design and build time, hoping that he wouldn’t make a lot of changes.
But he always did make changes. In one case, the team wasted so much time pushing a report through production with initial copy that the entire project had to be thrown out and started over – the data was too old and no longer relevant. Yet the content had been ready for his review months earlier. He just refused to look at it until the document was production-ready.
The Internet, with its seemingly easy integration of word, visual design, and navigation has lulled many people into believing that any aspect of a Website or information publishing can happen at the speed of light with a single click of a button. Sophisticated content management systems should seemingly make it easy to accomplish all this, shouldn’t they?
But anyone who has reworked a Web page after a slew of content edits from multiple contributors or editors knows that changes can cascade through to many other pages. And when content changes, it can impact the visual as well as structural aspects of your final product.
Your content is essential to the success of your site and marketing efforts, and producing high quality content is now well-recognized as one of the best ways to enhance your organization’s reputation and SEO rankings. Quality written content is your first and foundational step to creating a product and connecting with your audience.
But content is also a thread that runs throughout the development or production process. Ignoring its topicality and need for freshness can have repercussions on the end product. Content development activities (writing, reviews, editing, proofing) also require sufficient resources throughout all phases of your development or production process to ensure success.
Don’t short-change yourself by short-changing your content development process.