Diagram on content and strategic communications

Diagram on content and strategic communications

by Diana Railton

Originally published: 6 May 2013

Three years ago I produced a simple diagram to show how content strategy supports communications strategy.

Many people have referred to various versions of it, and I was honoured that Kristina Halvorson included the original in her keynote presentation at Confab London 2013.

Content strategy has become so much more important since 2010 that I have now completely changed the diagram. It tells a new story of integrated strategic communications, multi-disciplinary teamwork and cross-organisational collaboration – with content strategy in the centre.

You can see the new diagram at the end of this post. Please read on first.

A unified content strategy

A unified content strategy brings together many components, as well as content marketing. It supports and complements the goals of business, marketing and communication strategies. And it links with various types of communication channel strategies, whether a full digital strategy, social media strategy or individual website strategy.

Content strategy is the now the backbone of multi-channel corporate publishing. And this has a broader remit than ever before.

While content strategy plans for creating, delivering and governing content through the most appropriate channels, it provides a repeatable system for managing and monitoring content throughout its lifecycle. It also looks ahead to future-proof our communications for delivery in a range of digital contexts, whether multi-screen and mobile devices or augmented reality.

Multi-disciplinary teamwork

Content strategy in large organisations involves many types of talented people with a variety of expertise. Some are more editorial, visual, structural, analytical or technical. Some specialise in particular communication channels or functions, such as user experience and search. Some are more mainstream marketing and communications oriented, or work in other divisions.

Moving forward depends on the right leadership, working together with mutual respect − and avoiding turf wars.

As several research studies have shown, in many organisations you will see a range of new digital and content job titles, as well as new boards, steering groups, centres of excellence, editorial committees, etc. There is a huge call for better teamwork and change management.

A recent report by the Altimeter group highlighted the need for organisations to organise themselves for content, and to set up a ‘content authority’ with ‘cross-functional and multi-divisional visibility’. I especially agree with their view that ‘strategy should be aligned company wide’.

The diagram

Here is my new diagram showing integrated strategic communications, with content strategy in the centre.


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