Your web channel is more than just an online business card, it’s a vital communications tool introducing your company to an interested audience. Whether you represent a large organization or a single person business, how you appear in this public forum conveys a lot about your company and your brand. Maximizing the effectiveness of your web communication needs intentional planning and effort. The web has become one of the most economical and effective ways to get your message to your clients and into the public arena. Managing the message and the technology is the art of web governance. The scale and complexity of your web channel may be determined by the size of your organization but some of the foundational principles can be applied in any case.
The main message of your organization should be reflected in your web communications. Frame your organization to determine its own message and ensure that it is aligned with your direction and goals.
3 elements make up the big picture
- Strategic communication: making sure you have the right message.
- Web tactical/management: creating a path so your communicators can effectively get their message to the web channel.
- Internet Technology: the right technology to accomplish what you need it to do.
Who determines the message?
- Your information asset: Your message will eventually affect your bottom line, one way or another. This is a critical investment to do well.
- Strategy: Content authors need to know how their piece fits into the whole picture of your communication strategy.
- Authority: Governance protocols identify the permissions and sign-offs that insure your content is right.
- Need to know: Some of your additions to your web content are important pieces for others in your organization to know about so that all of your work maintains internal consistency.
When the rubber meets the road
- Who adds the content? Workflow guidelines and protocols make clear how your content and message get from content authors to finished web presentation.
- Moving ownership to the front lines. The people doing the writing are your content experts. Help them to take ownership by providing guidelines and perspective so there are fewer needed follow up steps.
- Training – People at every level of your contributing team will insure a more consistent and effective message.
- Protocols – Policies and guidelines will help front line staff to work with minimal supervision required.
- Hosting: Establishing a robust hosting environment is important to keep your web channel up and running without interruption.
- Hardware: The right equipment to support your need is an important consideration.
- Ongoing support: Gremlins are an inevitable part of the digital world, so your governance plan will need provision for ongoing technical support.
- Budget ballparks are sometimes established before all factors have been taken into consideration. A good governance plan will include realistic estimates of costs as well as pointing to the huge value gained by an effective web presence.
- Ongoing support is also a cost that you will need to factor into your future budget planning.
Building your internet presence
- Discovery, Design, Development and Deployment are four stages of web channel production created and used by the Yellow Pencil team. Discovery focuses on assessing needs and possibilities. Design focuses on creating a web plan with maximum effectiveness. Development includes building and customizing the site. Deployment is the stage of launching and maintaining your web channel.
- Integrating social media has become part of almost every web site. Your discovery phase will help you to identify which of the various social media methods will enhance your communication and be sustainable for you to maintain.
Analyzing web responses
Metrics and focus – honing in on responsive elements is the task of observing and analyzing how people are responding to your web site. Whether simple or highly complex, some method of evaluation will help your site to become even more effective as you make responsive adjustments.
Web governance includes all of this and more. The usefulness of your web channel will be enhanced by paying attention to the governance elements that apply to you.