The Content Convergence Dilemma: Where’s the Content Department?
Posted on October 27, 2011
By now most companies have figured out that good content is critical in a digital presence. That content can take many forms – user-generated, interactive, structured (data), marketing, conversational, and others. What I’ve seen in the last month is that most companies still struggle internally with content ownership – who owns the generation? Who owns the publishing? Who owns the maintenance? Someone please tell me, where is the Content Department?
Legacy organizational functions are aligned around different types of content, but they converge on the end customer. Marketing organizations are historically built around generation of “finished” content. This includes web pages, banners, ads, emails and in some cases video. PR organizations can be built are “unfinished” content, including press releases and snippets prepared to help media organizations generate their own finished content. Conversational content is managed across many organizations who touch social media functions – PR, marketing and customer service, for example.
There are two major challenges I’ve seen for companies struggling with the ownership of content: Integration of content creation efforts across departmental functions in a truly collaborative way, and the ‘B’ word: Budget.
Integration requires each department to be candid about their objectives (example: blogger outreach vs. strategic messaging) and to be willing to give and take around a content plan and calendar. If product marketing teams operate independently, they won’t have the benefit of getting the most out of content and to the customer they may appear disjointed or out of sync.
The budget question comes down to the fact that content generation requires funding – manpower, skills, assets. I’ve seen clients put all the funding for that in marketing, and others in PR. The latest version is a suggestion at a client to pool resources to have a joint ‘fund’ for content (in this case video), so that each video produced can serve the purposes and goals for both marketing and PR at the same time and each has a vested interest in allocating resources.
How has your company solved the budget and integration challenges? How do you hire for content creation roles? I’d love to hear success and lessons learned stories.
photo credit: atrogu via Flickr