Content governance rarely hits the headlines, but since Facebook recruited Nick Clegg as its image “fixer,” it has received more attention. Part of Clegg’s role was to help Facebook address criticism around the posting of harmful or inappropriate content. His rhetoric suggests that a good content governance strategy protects the organisation and user - helping them avoid lawsuits, embarrassment, or both.

If an organisation is to fully control its own content, a good content governance strategy is vital for reputation management.

Do good governance and creativity go together?

There’s a tendency to view governance as the polar opposite of creativity. Even those who see it as a good thing believe its role is limited to avoiding the legal ramifications of content violations.

But governance doesn’t have to stomp out creativity, and its use isn’t just limited to legal safeguarding. Instead, the best content and governance initiatives are commercial, strategic change drivers. They mobilise and help content creators achieve tremendous, measurable value for their companies.

Active governance is the key

To reap the benefits of an enabling, rather than restrictive, content governance strategy, it’s important to move from a passive to an active approach.

Most organisations will already have some sort of governance in place. Indeed, it’s likely they have a “way of doing things,” and even if the process isn’t great, it’s still a governing approach.

A passive approach to content governance relies heavily on the motivation of the team. Content developers and editors need to be driven to deliver great quality — even when there aren’t standard mechanisms to rely on, and nothing to support new additions to the team.

Active governance proactively guides content developers. It provides standard tools and guidelines that remove quality issues early on and help content developers deliver content that’s “ready for review.”

AI powered content governance

The critical success factor to practicing “active content governance” is making use of Artificial Intelligence (AI). The hype cycle for AI is reaching its apex, but it’s about more than the march of robots replacing humans.

In the context of content governance, AI is a mechanism that knows HOW to do the things you care about. It knows how to communicate, in a clear concise manner, global writing guidelines, spelling, and grammar - across multiple languages. It’s read ALL of your content, and learned your organisation’s voice, words, style, and emotion. Finally, it can automate a large percentage of the process, from guiding early creation, to delivering clear and correct materials. In doing so, it provides real business value — the kind that resonates with C-Level executives and includes risk reduction, cost and resource savings, customer engagement, and content clarity.

True AI-enabled Active Content Governance means building a multistep, automated process into the content machine. The output of each stage is a document that’s correct and aligned to company strategy, with less human intervention. This leaves editors to the job of actually creating faster, better content, at scale. Automating the process solves the issues of brand alignment, spelling and grammar, voice, clarity, and consistency. The scalability of automation means infinite checks on infinite pieces of digital content, either in immediately or with batch checking tools.

By freeing up time using technology, organisations can focus their resources on making sure the content better engages with their audience and improves the user experience.

Best practices

Delivering smart, unified, consistent, and helpful information can be the difference between winning and keeping customers, or losing them. It really requires content governance and changing from a fragmented, ad hoc approach to content creation with a framework that scales.

If deployed correctly, content governance is about injecting transparency into the process of content creation. It provides visibility across the whole machine, helping to identify issues, gaps, and challenges — and then eliminate them. What’s left is a smooth, streamlined process that offers guidance to content developers. This guidance helps them produce good quality, engaging content that represents their company’s unique brand and tone of voice.

The benefits are clear. Active Content Governance improves user experience everywhere you engage with a customer or prospect.

Written by Christopher P Willis, CMO for Acrolinx.

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