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Content planning workshop

Run a planning workshop to shape a content plan that the broader team can understand. Use your plan to direct outcomes, content tasks and expert checks.

Why run a content planning workshop?


  • Help your team explore user needs and business expectations.
  • Gain a collective understanding of the approach you will take and how you will measure success.
  • Use your plan to direct content production tasks and expert checks.
Prep timePeopleRun time
1 hour5 to 62 hours

Preparation

Invite people involved in requesting, writing, checking and communicating content.

Materials

  • Wall space or 1-2 whiteboards
  • Whiteboard markers
  • Post it notes and sharpies

How to run a content planning workshop


Start with a user focus

Bring your team together to create an overarching user need. You can do this by creating a user story. Doing this at the start will give the team a focus for the workshop. It puts the user at the centre of what you are planning.

Complete the acceptance criteria at the end of the workshop.

Example acceptance criteria

User story

As a [who the user is] I need [something] so that I can [do something].

Acceptance criteria

We will know it is done when the user:

  • understands [what they need to do]
  • can use and complete [a task]
  • can understand how to [do something]

Use a whiteboard to explore the end-to-end content task. Alternatively, work together in a document.

You can think about some or all of the points and questions listed below. Ask your team to contribute by adding post-it notes under whichever headings you need.

User task/need

  • What does the user need to do or know?
  • Can users interpret what they can do, need to do or need to know from the content?
  • What will the user know when they have finished their task?

Business goals

  • What is the purpose of the content or task?
  • Does it align with the corporate plan?
  • Is there a legal mandate to publish in a particular location?
  • Do you need to use specific terms or formats?
  • Is there a deadline?

Findability

  • Where will the content sit in the information architecture (IA)?
  • Does it have a user-friendly title?
  • How does the user find the page/s?
  • Where does the user go next?

Content decisions

  • Do you need to improve existing content or need to create content from scratch?
  • Is the suggested format what the user really needs and the best way to communicate your main messages?
  • Do you need to remove any outdated content?
  • Is this information or service only given by your agency?
  • Does it relate to what your agency does or is responsible for?

Promotion

  • How will you promote the content from another part of the website or from other channels?
  • Will the content impact other channels such as social media, apps, shopfronts, call centres and outgoing letters?
  • Do you need multimedia, such as a video?
  • Have you factored in the time for including transcripts or closed captions?
  • Are you adding any content formats, for example infographics?

Timeline

  • What time do you need to repurpose content for user needs?
  • What time do you need to to check that content meets the Content Guide and test it?
  • Will your timeline meet your deadline?

Maintaining

  • Do you need the content for a set amount of time? If so, you could set up an automatic reminder in your content management system.
  • How will you maintain the content, including reviewing and improving it?
  • How will you remove the content when it is no longer relevant?

Measurement

  • Do you need to measure the content’s performance?
  • What analytics tools are you using?
  • How often will you report on the content?
  • How will you measure it? Have you benchmarked your current content?

Assign skills, checks and sign off

  • Subject matter expert
  • Web writing skills
  • Supporting specialists
  • Approver for final sign off

Follow up


Map out and circulate the visual content plan, as part of the content brief.

Transfer relevant information to the content production template. This will help people writing and checking to be clear about the business and user objectives.