Content can take many forms — words, photos, audio, video or a link. It can be a story that offers insight into research results or brags about public service, an invitation to an event or photos or video of it during and afterward. It can introduce a newcomer to your readers, pat a student on the back or give a retiring colleague a chance to say goodbye.
After your communications objectives are defined, you need to outline a plan for meeting them that includes the needed resources.
Develop a set of best practices for your site.
Clearly state your goals, the manner in which you intend to achieve them and the values that guide you. That includes the style and tone of your posts. These are for the benefit of those who post and manage posted content. Our Web content guidelines will help.
Define content needs
Make a list of the information that needs to be on your site and note the type of information it is. Reviewing sites of similar units is a good place to start.
Much of your content may be static — basic information about the program or unit that rarely changes but still needs to be gathered, written, edited and posted.
Some information may be dynamic — pulled from other sources, such as calendars or news feeds that update automatically.
The remainder is original content that needs to be managed and updated regularly. This may include posts about awards, staff changes or new offerings —items that may change frequently.
Identify content owners
Both static and original content will need to be reviewed and updated by one or more people to ensure that it is up to date and consistent with the standards the university and your unit have set for online communications.
Because of the simplicity Joomla offers, the content owners can be someone with less technical expertise than your designated site administrator. But content management should be an assigned task to ensure it is not overlooked in the daily scheme of work.
Note — more than one person should have access to manage and contribute content for any official site to ensure that a single person's unavailability does not make it impossible to make immediate changes as needed.
Develop a strategy to keep content fresh, relevant and appropriate
Most sites will have more than one audience — employees, students, patients or community members. Focus on providing the information they are looking for, may be interested in or would benefit from learning. This can include relevant news and trends from external sources, special features and even a place for contributions from faculty, staff and students.
Use Google Analytics to help you evaluate those items that resonate with your audiences so that you can adjust your strategy as needed.
Use social media
More than one billion people use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn and other sites to create and publish content to connect, inform and amuse themselves and others. Your audience is among them. Don't be afraid to use these sites as part of your overall strategy and integrate them into your website.
Learn more about using social media at www.uab.edu/brand/connect.