Content Strategy Task Force may be just what you need to take your content to
the next level in 2013.
Magazine content. Website content. E-blasts. E-newsletters.
Books. Technical papers. White papers. Education courses. So much need, so
little content? Maybe it’s time to rethink the way you go about gathering and
distributing that content, as attendees learned at Association Media &
Publishing’s recent 2012 Business of Association Publishing Conference in
One of the day’s sessions, "More Than Just a Piece of the
Pie: The Role of Publications in Associations,” focused on how publications can
be used to drive organizational effectiveness and success. Panelists Maureen
Sullivan, of the American Library Association, and Teresa Brinati, of the
Society for American Archivists, discussed the use of publications and content
to support an association’s mission, vision, operational goals, and strategic
plan. A third panelist, Vicki Wiler, director of publications at ARMA
International, an association for records and information management
professionals, focused on her association’s struggles with content management.
"At ARMA, we had several subject-matter expert groups that were
being used to help identify our content needs and strategies,” she says. "But
the result was a duplication of efforts, content gaps, and over-taxed
volunteers, staff, and financial resources.” What she had, she says, was a
serious case of "content uncoordination.”
The solution? ARMA created a Content Strategy Task Force for
a three-year term to:
a process for identifying trends in information-related professions.
the best practices needed to help the association’s 10,000-plus members address
The Content Strategy Task Force’s goal, she says, was to
develop a process for identifying content gaps and to make content
recommendations for the association’s content development groups, which
included an editorial board, a review group, and a conference content task
To achieve its goal, the Content Strategy Task Force, which
included 10 high-level information, technology, legal, and business
professionals plus key ARMA headquarters staff, implemented a work process that
conference calls to discuss market trends and needs.
ongoing, and annual evaluations of content mix and existing gaps.
scans and topic recommendations for content production for the publications and
Thanks to the task force’s efforts, the association benefitted
with improved content coordination, allowing it to leverage the content that
was developed in multiple areas, says Wiler. Content created for the
association’s books and education sessions, for example, was excerpted in the
association’s magazine articles. A series of magazine articles was repurposed
into web seminars. Information developed for technical reports was used for
conference education, web seminars, and even a radio broadcast.
So, the next time you’re short on content, take a look at
the other content-creating areas within your association. More than likely, there’s
plenty of good information to go around. Consider the creation of a committee
or task force to make recommendations for new content and to repurpose the content
you have already. Ultimately, a content strategy task force may be what you
need to ensure that your association is delivering the very best information to
your members through all of your content channels.
McNamara Fitzgerald is
director, communications, for the Academy of General Dentistry and a member of
the Association Media & Publishing Content Creation Committee. Association
Media & Publishing thanks her for volunteering to cover this education
session for our members who were unable to attend.