You’re excited to begin working on your new website, and you’ve got it all figured out. Photos to be used, general ideas of copy, videos and overall layout and site map have been approved by the Web managers. All you have to do is execute your ideas. Easy peasy, right? Thinking of ideas is the easy part, implementing them is another (more complicated) story. How can you make sure your content is as great as possible once your website is ready for launch?
Who’s Doing What?
Each person involved in your site’s content creation is specialized in their line of work. Programmers wouldn’t know exactly how to work the design programs to help the site look aesthetically pleasing, and writers probably wouldn’t be able to program the code for the site. That’s why as a content developer, it’s important to work closely with other departments to convey the appropriate message and design. Concepting and brainstorming with the designer – not separate from the designer – ensures the correct messages are on the front page.
Communication, Communication, Communication
There is no such thing as over communication. Set goals and schedules for your content and meet on a regular basis with designers to make sure your site launches the day you’re planning. It’s never fun to realize at the last minute that a piece – or two or three – of the puzzle is missing last minute. Put a content plan together for yourself – this timeline will help you stay on track and you’ll be held accountable for tasks in your content realm. Rather than sending an email, head over to the designer’s work area and speak directly to them. You’ll be surprised how much more can be accomplished and understood with face-to-face conversation.
Be the Motivating Factor!
Most importantly, keep those you’re working with motivated. Surprise the designers with mochas or bagels one morning. It’s amazing how a positive gesture can inspire your team to work that much harder to get the job done. Don’t be afraid to tell coworkers what a great job they’re doing – a little motivation never hurt anyone.
Bottom line: when you’re on a crunch to get a site ready for launch, work together. And don’t save content for the very end – it will be incredibly tough to catch up and be ready for launch day if you do.
Renee Achterhof is a content developer for MINDSCAPE at Hanon McKendry