Phase 2: Focus and collaborate

Make it easier for your team and stakeholders to work together

User personas

  • Who are you writing for?
  • How do your customers think?
  • How do your writers know who to address?

When you know who you're talking to, your content is more effective. User personas describe (fictional) people who represent your target market. They tell content creators the aspirations to appeal to, and the fears to allay.

Personas rely on user research. After talking with real-life customers, we build a small number of composite personas that describe the exact right people to appeal to.

Roles and responsibilities

  • Who’s writing what?
  • Who’s reviewing each piece?
  • Who’s informed, but not responsible?

The brief that goes to no-one, the article that bypasses the editor, or the hidden stakeholder who appears late and holds up a project - content workflow breaks down when roles and responsibilities aren’t clear.

Knowing who is (and isn’t) involved is essential for each piece. We define and document the right level of involvement for everyone (creators, editors, legal, marketing, curators, distributors, marketers, tech people...the list can go on).

Governance models

  • Who’s in charge here?
  • After go-live, what next?
  • How does content ownership work?

Content has a lifecycle. Facts change, organisations evolve, your audience needs new things, and your content has to keep up. Good governance stops content from going stale. It ensures that editorial decisions are clear and clever. It prevents ‘workflow bloat’, and stops teams from losing focus.

This isn’t about just picking a boss. There are technical, editorial, market-facing, and managerial angles to content governance. We help you establish governance that puts your content and your audience first.

Approval processes

  • How do you hear feedback from all your stakeholders?
  • How do you prevent ‘writing by committee’?
  • Is there a better way than sign-off?

As content moves from draft to publication, a lot of people have a say. Put a lid on office politics by getting the right people to contribute in the right ways, and keeping overall control where it belongs.


You have two options: ‘Sign-off tubes’, with a series of stakeholders, are common and can work for small teams.

But working more collaboratively can really pay off. A ‘risk management’ approach gives stakeholders more of a voice, helps everyone see where each other is coming from, and stops decision-making power from wandering.

We can help you choose, design, and implement the right process. This usually includes on-the-job coaching, and training for new starters as well.

Related workshop: Content approval without protracted sign-off

Publishing, platform, and distribution plans

  • You know what to say, but where will you say it?
  • How do you fit owned media, automated marketing, and social media together?
  • What are your ‘push’ and ‘pull’ strategies?

There's a range of platforms and properties to consider every time you say something online - social media, your websites, campaign material, and more. With planning you can start everything in the right place, then reuse and cross-promote it where it makes sense. Ultimately, you'll get the right message to the right people.