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A Content Strategy Document for MSU Sustainability

Wade Bowers & Emily Wilson

Dr. Liza Potts Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures 420 Content Management 25 April 2014

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

TABLE OF CONTENTS STRATEGY BRIEF MEETING BUSINESS GOALS AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT IMPLEMENTATION SHORT TERM GOALS MID TERM GOALS LONG TERM GOALS GOVERNANCE WHO DOES WHAT WHEN? Policy Makers Project Team Leaders Project Teams Content Creator Technical Editor CREATING CONTENT SUSTAINABLE CONTENT CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM CMS WORKFLOW CONTENT CREATOR CONTENT EDITOR CONTENT APPROVER MANAGING SOCIAL MEDIA TRANSITIONING TO A CMS USING TEMPLATES FILE STRUCTURE BASECAMP METADATA & SEO WEB PRESENCE CONTENT INVENTORY FINDINGS Disconnected Web Identities No Structure

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Outdated, Repetitious, or Insignificant Content SUGGESTIONS Connect Web Identities Structure with Templates Implement Web Maintenance, Editing, and Approval Process SOCIAL MEDIA BRAND IDENTITY STYLE GUIDE COLOR PALETTE Primary Colors Secondary Colors TYPOGRAPHY Gotham CaliforniaFB Text Myriad Pro GRAPHICS TEMPLATES TEMPLATE LEGEND HOME PAGE TEMPLATE ARTICLE TEMPLATE SERVICES PAGE TEMPLATE FOOTER TEMPLATE SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS ACCESSIBILITY INTERNATIONAL ISSUES COPYRIGHT CONCERNS PRIVACY AND SECURITY Campaign Example MAJOR TAKEAWAYS APPENDIX Content Inventory Templates *

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STRATEGY BRIEF
In 2013, the services that were once separately known as Michigan State University’s Office of Campus Sustainability, Recycling, Surplus Store, and Bikes, merged into a single entity known as MSU Sustainability. This merger not only served to increase collaboration between its former units, but also highlighted the opportunity and need for these units to merge their brand strategies and business goals into a greater Sustainability Strategic Plan. By creating and implementing a Content Strategy, MSU Sustainability can insure that the content it creates not only meets these new combined business goals, but also increases the efficiency and continuity of its efforts. This Content Strategy (CS) aims to provide a unified processes for creating, editing, and maintaining content across the combined MSU Sustainability platform.

MEETING BUSINESS GOALS
All content, no matter how small, should serve a purpose of meeting one or more business goals. These goals can begin as broad ideas, but should eventually have specific benchmarks for data tracking and evaluation purposes. Three broad examples of business goals which we will focus on with this CS include: 1. Increasing campus engagement and education 2. Working toward paying off fees incurred during construction of the new facility 3. Moving toward creating a “Zero-Waste” campus environment Ideally, business goal benchmarks should be set at least annually (if not more frequently) and projects and events should spawn from these benchmarks. Only after benchmarks, projects, and events have been planned should content be created. Following this hierarchical order will improve time management and work efficiency for employees by ensuring that each piece of content has an intended purpose, audience, and lifespan for use.

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AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT
Keeping in mind the example broad business goals discussed in the previous section, we have identified 3 target areas for improving content management across the Sustainability group. These 3 target areas are: 1. Governance 2. Content Management System (CMS) 3. Web Presence By focussing on making improvements to these 3 target areas, MSU Sustainability can not only reduce the time and resources required to produce its content, but can also insure that each piece of content serves a meaningful role in supporting the organization’s mission and business goals. We will elaborate on these target improvement areas later in the Content Strategy.

IMPLEMENTATION
Realizing that a Content Strategy cannot be implemented overnight, we have broken the process down into multiple short, medium, and long term goals. By prioritizing projects in this order, MSU Sustainability can see almost immediate change and efficiency in content creation while still transitioning gradually into using the full CS.

SHORT TERM GOALS
For short term goals we have targeted low hanging fruit, areas where we can make a relatively large difference in a very short period of time. We have indicated which target improvement area each goal would affect. 1. Governance: Identify the mission statement, core values, and business goals for MSU Sustainability, and set preliminary benchmarks for meeting these goals within a designated time period 2. CMS: Inventory and organize any style guides or templates currently available in the Share Drive, and make a list of any missing templates that should exist or changes that should be made to the documents 3. Governance: Identify any projects or events which are either currently underway, or are anticipated for the near future, and determine what business goals each project will match as well as what data and resources are required to track progress toward the related period benchmarks 4. CMS: Create tables in FileMaker to house business goals and benchmarks for the

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upcoming period 5. Web Presence: Create webpage consolidating all the service offerings for MSU Sustainability’s various units; this should be housed on the main Sustainability website and should be linked to Infrastructure, Planning, and Facilities’ Service Guide, which is located at http://ipf.msu.edu/services/service-guide.html In theory, we could start working on these tasks immediately and have have them completed in 1 to 3 months.

MID TERM GOALS
The mid term goals we have selected are tasks which are vital for the overall success of the Content Strategy, but which will take an extended period of time to complete. For clarification, we have again indicated which target improvement area each goal would affect. 1. Governance: Organize teams for managing content creation for each project and assign team leaders responsible for managing the project 2. Web Presence: Using the Website Content Inventory included in the Appendix, review content across all of the listed websites, looking at each page, and make updates so that all content is accurate, current, and essential; consolidate when possible 3. CMS: Using the inventory list created in the Short Term Goals section, create any missing templates which are necessary for content creation 4. CMS: Change FileMaker style setting to match those included in MSU Sustainability’s style guide 5. CMS/Governance: Develop FileMaker tables and layouts to house data for individual projects in order to track progress toward business goal benchmarks 6. CMS: Inventory and organize any photos or images currently available in the Share Drive so that they are arranged in a way that is easily accessible for content creators 7. Governance: Develop a timeline for assigning, editing, and reviewing content for all current and anticipated projects The mid term goals should be started relatively early (around 1 to 2 month into the transition process). However, they will likely progress in stages, ranging over the length of one full fiscal year.

LONG TERM GOALS
The long term goals suggested, are ideas that are less important to the overall success of the Content Strategy, but which would provide significant value if completed. These tasks are also more complex areas that would require a greater dedication of time and resources to their completion.

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1. Web Presence: Merge all Sustainability websites into a single parent site 2. CMS: Transition to storing a digital representation of all content (including videos, images, sales receipts, etc.) within FileMaker 3. Governance/CMS: Transition to creating, assigning, editing, approving, and publishing all digital content from templates and layouts within FileMaker

GOVERNANCE
The first target area for improvement which we will focus on is Governance. Content is extremely important but having procedures in place to manage that content and making sure the content fits with the brand ideals are equally important aspects of Content Strategy. The content also needs to be sustainable, meaning it can be easily maintained and reused. This idea is called Governance and defines who does what, when do they do it, and who makes the decisions. “Defining who does what, when, and why is the most important thing you can do to ensure your content delivers on every platform.” - Karen McGrane, Content Strategy for Mobile

WHO DOES WHAT WHEN?
The first area for improving the governance of content for MSU Sustainability involves creating an organizational chart assigning specific responsibilities to specific groups of individuals. We have broken the governance down into the following 3 groups: 1. Policy Maker 2. Project Team Leaders 3. Project Teams While each group has its own specific responsibilities, it is feasible that individuals will not be confined to one singular group but may instead take an active role in multiple areas. For instance, a Policy Maker may also serve as a Project Team Leader and may assist in creating content for a Project Team. In the sections below, we have defined what specific responsibilities each of the before mentioned governance groups oversees.

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Policy Makers
The Policy Makers are responsible for defining the overarching mission statement and core values of MSU Sustainability. They are also responsible for setting business goals and defining benchmarks for each period. Policy Makers also have the highest level of authority for approving content, especially external pieces.

Project Team Leaders
Because every piece of content should directly support at least one current business goal, all content should be created with a specific purpose, audience, and lifespan in mind. The easiest way to insure content matches these criteria is to create it within the confines of a greater project. In this way, as long at the project has passed the Business Case Project Assessment (included in the Appendix) it will suffice to meet these requirements. In order to efficiently govern such project based content creation, a Project Team Leader should be assigned to manage each individual project and project group. While the Project Team Leader may assist with creating and editing content, their primary responsibility will be to approve content both prior to its creation and once it has been finished. Project Leaders will be in charge of managing the brainstorming process for deciding which content pieces should be created for each project, and will then be responsible for delegating content creation responsibilities to group members. All content for external publication should be approved by a Project Team Leader prior to going live.

Project Teams
The last governance group consists of the Project Team itself. Each project should have a corresponding project team, consisting of individuals of varying necessary skill set’s who are interested in and/or vital to the successful completion of the project. Every project team should have at least one member who is able to create content, one member who is able to serve as a technical editor, and one member who is proficient with using FileMaker (or is at least comfortable entering data into FileMaker fields).

Content Creator Depending on the type of content required for each project, the Content Creator should have the technical skills to create the content required for their part of the project. For instance, If RecycleMania were a project, the project would need content creators who were capable of collaborating to create the following types of content pieces: Photographs, Graphically Designed Posters, Videos, Blog posts, etc.

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Because content is itself such a broad field, a content creator can span anywhere for a truck driver entering recycling weights into an iPad to a graphic designer or content writer creating a print piece. Technical Editor Just as every project needs content creators, so too does every piece of content need a second opinion. The Technical Editor is responsible for reviewing a piece of content to see that all brand standards and styles have been met. Depending on what content they are reviewing, they may also serve as a copy editor, responsible for checking grammar and spelling. Even though the Technical Editor is responsible for a part of the review process, they should not be the final approver for a piece of external content (unless they are a Project Team Leader or Policy Maker). Having the Technical Editor serve as the final approver for external content often results in inefficient time use for content creation, especially if the technical editor has multiple projects and/or tasks to complete.

CREATING CONTENT
Content that is created for Sustainability must go through an approval process to ensure that it promotes our identity and business goals. This content needs to traverse a hierarchy from creator to approver, where the approver is someone that is familiar with our business goals and brand identity. The person approving content should be able to take a leadership role and be able to carry out the following tasks: ● Conduct research and analyze data about whether or not the content was a success ● Assemble cross-functional teams to tackle problems in content delivery ● Break through inter-departmental conflicts to ensure collaboration

SUSTAINABLE CONTENT
Content we create should be made following internal templates for structure and tone. If every piece of content is made following a blueprint it will make various aspects of delivering and maintaining this content much easier down the road. Having set fields defined in a template allow us to take these pieces and reuse them in different ways.

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By using an article as an example piece of content we know that it will always have a title, author, intro paragraph, body text, links and images. When you break down the content in this way it starts to become clear how the content can become more liquid. Making the intro 140 characters means we already have a Tweet, Facebook post and Newsletter blurb about the article. Creating content in this way means we are doing less work but are still able to reach our audience on multiple platforms. It also means that the content has one origin point where it can be edited and updated. Content maintenance is a necessary but time consuming process. A couple things can make this easier on us when the time comes: being able to quickly locate the content source for updating and developing a maintenance plan alongside the content.

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CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
Our Second focus area for improvement is the Content Management System (CMS). In the previous section we discuss how creating great content involves managing people just as much as managing the content. If we can create a bulletproof process for content creation then, in theory, the content produced will benefit. While the human touch can never be removed from this process, developing a CMS that meets our needs will take the stress out of the process. We propose to utilize FileMaker as our organization’s CMS. There are a few reasons why FileMaker was our choice platform for building an internal CMS. To begin with, as a database tool Filemaker is extremely flexible and can be bended to fit our needs. In addition to this, FileMaker also has a plethora of options for managing user permissions which is key to our Governance plan. Lastly, a large portion of our organization is already using FileMaker daily to track service requests, complete scheduled service, give facility tours, track work hours, and more. Every employee technically already has a profile in the database, they would just have to be given the credentials and training to begin creating content.

CMS WORKFLOW
In order to give you a clear picture of the ways in which developing a CMS would help our organization meet the goals covered in this document, we have outlined the theoretical workflow of the CMS for both content creators and approvers.

CONTENT CREATOR
1. Content Creator opens the FileMaker client installed on their PC or MAC or IPAD. 2. They would be greeted with a screen that shows the projects their teams are involved in with and the tasks that need to be completed for that project. If any of these tasks were assigned directly to that user it will be highlighted and sorted to the top. 3. The content creator has reviewed their tasks and found one they can begin work on so they simply click the task to begin the content creation. 4. From there they will be prompted about what type of content they are adding to the database. This question allows us to change the template served to them. For example, if you answer “Web Article” you will be given a template that meets our standards for written work. Alternatively if you answer “Web Graphic” you will be given an interface to upload a .jpg, .png or .gif.

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5. After they fill in the various parts of the template they can either save and exit to continue working later, or save and submit to send the content to the content editor.

CONTENT EDITOR
1. Content Editor opens the FileMaker client installed on their PC or MAC or IPAD. 2. They would be greeted with a screen that shows the projects their teams are involved in with and the tasks that have been submitted for editing by content creators. 3. The content editor has reviewed the tasks and found one they can begin editing so they simply click the task to begin editing the content. 4. The editing interface will look a lot like the creation interface, but instead of having blank template fields they would already be populated. Clicking a field would allow the editor to make a comment. a. Adding a click to the workflow allows us to “fork” the content into an original and edited version. 5. After the editor has read/looked over the content they can either push the content back to the creator or submit it to the final approver. a. Pushing the content back to the creator means that it didn’t meet standards for whatever reason. When an editor does this they are required to fill in a comment so that the creator can make appropriate changes. b. The creator receives the “forked” version and makes the changes to that version.

CONTENT APPROVER
1. Content Approver opens the FileMaker client installed on their PC or MAC or IPAD. 2. They would be greeted with a screen that shows a task list of content they need to approve as well as progress reports for teams. 3. The content approver has reviewed the tasks and team progress. Rather than clicking a team’s progress report, which would take them to a layout where they would see more detailed team information, the approver clicks a task for some piece of content to approve. 4. The approving interface would be very similar to the editing interface except it would feature a list of editor comments and two buttons, one for approve and one for deny. 5. Approving the content could do a number of things like automate posting the content to the website according to its schedule, email a memo to appropriate people, post to social network, etc. a. Denying the content pushes it back to the creator and notifies the editor. This means that it didn’t meet standards for whatever reason. When an approver does this they are required to fill in a comment so that the creator and editor can address the changes.

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b. The creator receives a “forked” version and makes the changes to that version.

MANAGING SOCIAL MEDIA
Along with improving a content creator’s workflow by dealing with most brand policies transparently, the CMS could make the process of promoting this content on social platforms easier to manage. FileMaker has the ability to post to social networks. This allows us to do things like generate Tweets, Facebook posts, or even Newsletter blurbs with the content already created with the CMS. This would in turn allow us to quickly survey what platforms content has been represented on.

TRANSITIONING TO A CMS
The process outlined in the previous section is an ideal situation. It would make adhering to the plan a part of content creation. The problem is that it would take a considerable amount of time to develop a fully functional internal CMS of this nature. That is why we have listed this particular goal in the LONG TERM GOALS section of the document. With that in mind, for the short term we can start to organize our current and future assets. This structure should support the governance plan and a future CMS, even if that isn’t FileMaker. To get started we need to develop standards for content creation and organization in accordance with the governance plan. Currently this means templates for creation and S-Drive file structure for organization. Basecamp can fulfill the governance duties. The following sections will assume the bottom level of the S-Drive is S:\\

USING TEMPLATES
Content creators at Sustainability will most likely have to create a variety of different types of content while working with us. In order to ensure that they create sustainable, brand focused content it is important we make it easy to follow internal templates. In the short term the templates that we currently use to create content should be indexed and organized so they are easy to find. This could include templates for presentations, memos, formal letters, emails, web article, print articles, etc. Any types of content we produce regularly should have a template. An example of how to organize these on the S-Drive: S:\\TEMPLATES\documents\memo.doc

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S:\\TEMPLATES\presentations\presentation.ppt S:\\TEMPLATES\web\article.html For the future we should take our list of templates and find obvious omissions that need to be created. It is likely that even after auditing our templates and creating missing ones there will come a time when something just doesn't work with our existing templates. The creation of the template would become a project.

FILE STRUCTURE
When dealing with large and small projects alike collaborating with documents can be difficult. Content files get sent over email, posted on Basecamp or other services. On top of that, everyone has a different way of naming files. By developing conventions for where project files are stored and what they are named everyone is aware of the state of the project. It also allows for you to quickly search the S-Drive. Here are some examples of how the S-Drive would be organized to support this Content Strategy document: S:\\PROJECTS\ All projects would be housed in a central folder. Projects inside of this folder could be organized further by division and time period. S:\\PROJECTS\PROJECT NAME\ All projects would have their own folder where files would be saved. There should be a manifest file updated by the team lead that outlines the project and lists benchmarks. For examples of things to include in the manifest, proceed to Metadata. S:\\PROJECTS\PROJECT NAME\working\ The “working” folder would be where research files, notes, whiteboard photos and other in progress files are stored. Files saved in this folder don’t need a naming convention. If someone is generating a large number of “working” files they should make a subfolder with their name. S:\\PROJECTS\PROJECT NAME\editing\ The “editing” folder would be where the content creator would place files they were ready to have edited. Editors should copy the file and make edits to the copy. File naming conventions: documentName-v0 — original file

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documentName-v0E — editors working file documentName-v0A — editor has approved the file documentName-v0D — editor has denied the file documentName-v1 — a denied file starts the process over S:\\PROJECTS\PROJECT NAME\approved\ The “approved” folder would be where the content approver would place a file when it is complete. File naming conventions: documentName-v3-dead an approved file is dead until until it is “LIVE” documentName-v3-LIVE live files are in place according to the manifest This is only one way in which the file structure for projects could be standardized. It is important that whatever standards get implemented are decided by the teams that will be utilizing them. Reference cards could be made to improve the transition, but if the team has input on the standard they will likely memorize it after a short period. Changing policy like this may seem daunting but it would improve workflow and our ability to track project progress. The important things to take away from a file structure change are the need for standards in both the naming and organizing of project files. Along with these standards the inclusion of a Manifest file to track data about the content would be helpful for Metadata and Seo.

BASECAMP
With standardized file structure and naming handling the content organization Basecamp would be utilized to govern team members. When a creator places a file in the “editing” folder they should also check the task on Basecamp to notify team editors when they need to check a particular file. While editing comments should be on the editors working document the Basecamp discussion board could be used for further discussion. Team leads could also post to the project’s page when the manifest was updated with new goals or metrics. It is important to note that no sharing of files occurs on Basecamp, only notifying other team members when a file needs their attention.

METADATA & SEO
To put it simply, Metadata is data about data. This is data about projects/content that we should start compiling in the planning phases and continue to collect until a projects launch. In the short term we recommend having a manifest or project outline that would house this data.

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Down the road this data could be inputted by the content creator using the CMS. Types of information we would be compiling address the 5 W’s. This data can be used to help us track project information as well as improve Search Engine Optimization (SEO). In order to use this data for SEO purposes we would have to either convert the data collected in the manifest into proper HTML elements or store them in HTML format from the beginning. To show how storing this type of information using HTML formatting would not be difficult we will provide an example: ● Who were the team members involved in creating/editing the content? ○ <meta name="author" content="Joel Heckaman"> ○ <meta name="author" content="Joel Heckaman, Harold Pugh, Nancy Aitchenson"> ● What is included in the content? ○ <title>70 characters, try to create a title that uses keywords that describe the content</title> This is the most important piece of metadata for SEO. ○ <meta name="description" content="Around 160 characters that will entice the user into clicking a search result. Not used for SEO but the user may see the description in the search result."> ○ <meta name=“keywords” content=“sustainability, energy, plan, diversion”> ● When was the content created and updated? When will the content be published? When will the content be archived/unpublished? ○ <meta name="CreationDate" content="May 1, 2014"> ○ <meta name="PublishDate" content="May 3, 2014"> ○ <meta name="ExpiryDate" content="May 1, 2016"> ● Where was the content created? ○ <meta name="zipcode" content="48824"> ○ <meta name="city" content="East Lansing"> ○ <meta name="state" content="Michigan"> ○ <meta name="geo.region" content="US- MI"> ○ <meta name="geo.placename" content="East Lansing, MI"> ○ <meta name="geo.position" content="42.716415, -84.480126"> ○ <meta name="ICBM" content="42.716415, -84.480126”> Building this information throughout the development process will ensure that when it comes time to release the content we already have a plan of how to apply SEO. Following the example will give you a solid start in optimizing the content for search engines, but it doesn’t stop there. Creating web documents that follow HTML syntax strictly while also following Accessibility guidelines will also help to improve search results.

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WEB PRESENCE
A common difficulty found with any kind of company reorganization or merger is finding a way to merge and reorganise the web presence for the new unit. The way we chose to address this issue in regards to MSU Sustainability’s reorganization was to look at the various web presences that currently exist in relation to Sustainability, and search for trends and possibilities for improving MSU Sustainability’s web presence.

CONTENT INVENTORY
In order to review the website content already in existence, we began by completing a Content Inventory for 7 of the individual websites existing under various units within Sustainability (included in the Appendix). Our Content Inventory involved looking at every page within each of the 7 websites and recording what pieces of content were housed on each page. The websites we reviewed were as follows: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Surplus Store: www.msusurplusstore.com Recycling: recycle.msu.edu Bikes: bikes.msu.edu Surplus Books: www.msusurplusbooks.com Student Storage: www.msustorageservices.com Sustainability: sustainability.msu.edu Be Spartan Green: www.bespartangreen.msu.edu

While this is not a complete list of Sustainability generated websites, we decided that 7 sites would be enough to review in order to establish content trends. The fact that so many sites exist in relation to MSU Sustainability causes confusion as to what the identity of the organization is and makes it difficult for users to find content. This in turn could affect users’ abilities to participate in or take advantage of Sustainability generated events, organizations, initiatives, and services. This could also ultimately decrease the likelihood of reaching business goals.

FINDINGS
For ease of reference, we have divided our findings into the following 3 sections: 1. Disconnected Web Identities

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2. No Structure 3. Outdated, Repetitious, or Insignificant Content

Disconnected Web Identities There was a lack of connection between the separate websites. No parental site existed referencing the other site, and while some of the sites did link to each other, there existed no way to easily navigated between all of them. No Structure There was no consistent layout or style guide present when navigating between the different websites. This gave it a very disjointed feeling and made it difficult to relate the content from one website to another. Outdated, Repetitious, or Insignificant Content Content in many areas was outdated or repetitious from another section. There were also many instances where certain pages had almost no content on them in comparison to other pages and seemed to serve only as a navigation space.

SUGGESTIONS
Our main suggestions for improving content management with Sustainability’s web presence would be to merge all Sustainability websites into a singular site. However, taking into consideration the time, resources, and level of cooperation which would need to be dedicated to this kind of a transition, a simpler yet very effective alternative would be to make changes to the pre existing websites and link them to a singular parent site. For ease of reference, we will again split our suggestions into 3 sections: 1. Connect Web Identities 2. Structure with Templates 3. Implement Web Maintenance, Editing, and Approval Process Connect Web Identities As mentioned previously, the ideal way to improve the web presence for MSU Sustainability would be to transition to a singular website. However, a similar simpler alternative would be to modify the current primary Sustainability website (sustainability.msu.edu) so that it served as a parent site for all other related websites.

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This could be done by restructuring the page layout for this website to include a comprehensive “about” page, as well as a page listing all the “services” for the various units in the organization and a page listing all the ways to “engage” in sustainable practices. While not all of the details would need to be housed directly on these pages, a link should be included that would direct site visitors to the details. In addition to adding these summary pages, a footer, like the one shown below, could be added to the site’s page layout, which would include a link to all related Sustainability websites.

All related Sustainability generated websites should be linked to a parent website

Structure with Templates While again we would encourage MSU Sustainability to transition their websites into a singular site, an alternative way to bring consistency to content that already exists across the various web spaces would be to incorporate similar formatting templates across the various sites. These templates should incorporate the brand identity and style guide for all of MSU Sustainability. For more suggestions regarding creating and incorporating templates, see the Templates within the Brand Identity section included further on in the CS. Implement Web Maintenance, Editing, and Approval Process To make sure our web content is cobweb free, we recommend implementing the Governance plan. With governance comes a record of all the content we have plus accountability for who created the content allowing agile maintenance.

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SOCIAL MEDIA
Sustainability has a presence in a wide array of social media platforms where we post a variety of different types of content. While our presence on these platforms features a plethora of rich content, we found that most of these posts don’t link back to our websites. A point should be made to build our social media presence around the content that is already being created for the websites. In the case of linking to another site’s article or information, we should think about creating a page to house that link on our website with a short write-up about the link we are posting. This does two things; it funnels traffic through our site and creates links between us and other content generators. Linking to other sites in our industry can help to improve visibility by making us more important to search engines. This alteration would change our social presence to one that directly supports the website.

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BRAND IDENTITY
The following is an excerpt from Sustainability’s Brand Standard Manual: “A brand helps customers choose from an ever growing number of service providers. A brand communicates the quality of the product or service and reassures customers that they have made the right choice. Brands engage customers through distinctive imagery, language, and associations to create a recognizable identity system.” Brand is important and this excerpt shows that Sustainability knows this. We suggest showing employees, new and current alike, the importance of this brand. Have the Brand Manual in every office space or on the desktop of a new employees computer. Make it impossible for a content creating employee to ignore.

STYLE GUIDE
A style guide discusses the best practices for using text and images to support our brand identity and business goals. Sustainability already has a well made Brand Standard Manual. We suggest adding information regarding what templates to use for common documents like presentations, memos, letters, announcements, etc. As more and more employees are using FileMaker it would also be useful to define standards for database development in the Style Guide. This means standard naming conventions for database tables and fields. It would also mean changing fonts, headers and colors to fit the Sustainability Brand Standard Manual.

COLOR PALETTE
While the current Sustainability Brand Standard Manual already includes options for primary colors to use, secondary colors to use, and additional color options, the manual does not include the hexadecimal codes for these colors. Because the web almost always uses hexadecimals for setting colors, it would be helpful to include these in the manual for reference. Below we have included an example of the primary and secondary color examples along with their hex codes.

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Primary Colors These should be used for most general designs for MSU Sustainability. 00723F 5CA038

C: 100 R: 0 M: 0 G: 114 Y: 90 B: 63 K: 40

C: 60 R: 92 M: 0 G: 160 Y: 100 B: 56 K: 20

Secondary Colors These should be used for more in depth designs/external publications that include various sections regarding sustainability. Energy Reducing Waste Transportation

#007DC5 C: 100 R: 0 M: 40 G: 125 Y: 0 B: 197 K: 0 Water

#00723F C: 100 R: 0 M: 0 G: 114 Y: 90 B: 63 K: 40 Supply Chain/Food

#E8B909 C: 0 R: 232 M: 20 G: 185 Y: 100 B: 9 K: 0 Research/Engagement

#6DCFF6 C: 50 R: 109 M: 0 G: 207 Y: 0 B: 246 K: 0

#DC661E C: 0 R: 220 M: 70 G: 102 Y: 100 B: 30 K: 10

#92278F C: 50 R: 146 M: 100 G: 39 Y: 0 B: 143 K: 0

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TYPOGRAPHY
The three fonts used for MSU Sustainability within the Brand Standard Manual are Gotham, CaliforniaFB Text, and Myriad Pro. Because not all of these fonts are available on traditional software, new employees will need to have these fonts installed. As mentioned previously, these fonts should also be set at the default font options within FileMaker’s layout settings. Gotham This is a Sans Serif font that can be used for text, including headlines, sub-headlines, titles, and body copy. Please not that this font is not preinstalled on most computers. If you do not have Gotham font on your computer, see Tim Heckamen or Aaron Cookingham to complete the download. CaliforniaFB Text This is a Serif font that should be used only in formal designs and primarily as body copy. This font should already be downloaded to all work computers. If you do not have CalifornianFB Text font on your computer, see Tim Heckamen or Aaron Cookingham to complete the download. Myriad Pro This is a Sans Serif font that can be used in place of Gotham for body copy and captions (in condensed form). This font should already be downloaded to all work computers. If you do not have Myriad Pro font on your computer, see Tim Heckamen or Aaron Cookingham to complete the download.

GRAPHICS
A number of graphics are available for document design use within the share drive Z folder. To access these graphics, go to “Sustainability>Communication>Branding>Graphics.” When using graphic elements within external communications, graphics may not be skewed or distorted (all dimensions must remain pure). In some circumstances the color of a graphics may be changed to any color mentioned in the Color Palette section or the colors white, grey, or black.

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TEMPLATES
Templates can greatly improve workflow by taking the guesswork away from the content creator. The Content Management System proposed earlier relies heavily on them. Templates are a great tool for guiding content creators and we suggest making them for any document that Sustainability creates on a consistent basis. For this project we made four templates of the proposed consolidated website. These templates include a view of the homepage, a written article, a service listing page and the website’s footer. We chose to create templates for these areas because we feel they best summarize the content that would be seen on a consolidated Sustainability website.

TEMPLATE LEGEND

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HOME PAGE TEMPLATE

1. The top of the page would feature a carousel that cycles both the image and header underneath it. This could be used to promote our featured or recent content. 2. Large header links underneath the carousel image. 3. If a user scrolls past our recent articles they would be greeted with something that looks very similar to the “Services” page. This way people just browsing around will learn about who we are as an organization.

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ARTICLE TEMPLATE

1. Large title that stretches across the width of the site. 2. Image block stretches across the entire article, throughout the text. This doesn't always have to be an image, could be videos, charts. 3. More stories would link to related or featured stories. With a CMS handling keywords we could begin to build relationships between content. 4. Readability is important. Web type has changed a lot in the past couple of years. Large type has become the norm, meaning 16px versus the 12px norm of a few years ago. Here1 is a great article from Smashing Magazine. Gotham is now a web font so it is possible to use it as the website font. The templates were built with Google Drawings so we didn’t have access to Gotham.
1

http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2011/10/07/16-pixels-body-copy-anything-less-costly-mistake/

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SERVICES PAGE TEMPLATE

1. Service pages would greet the customer with a large image to draw them in, maybe advertising a particular service. 2. The first row would be a service listing with an image, if a row is explaining a service that a customer can act on using the website the row would link to the service. 3. We could brand individual services with icons or other visual representations.

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FOOTER TEMPLATE

1. The first row could be summarized as ways of connecting to our organization either directly, through other sites, or on social media. 2. The second row contains links to MSU links. Follows proposed MSU standards.

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SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS ○ACCESSIBILITY
An accessible website is one thats content is accessible to anyone that may be browsing. To ensure the accessibility of Sustainability pages it is important that content follows the WCAG 2.0 Accessibility Guidelines2 . Follow these best practices from Usability.gov3 : Best Practices for Accessible Content When creating digital content, make sure to consider the following: ● Do not rely on color as a navigational tool or as the sole way to differentiate items ● Images should include Alt text in the markup/code; complex images should have more extensive descriptions near the image (perhaps as a caption or descriptive summaries built right into a neighboring paragraph) ● Functionality should be accessible through mouse and keyboard and be tagged to worked with voice-control systems ● Provide transcripts for podcasts ● If you have a video on your site, you must provide visual access to the audio information through in-sync captioning ● Sites should have a skip navigation feature ● Consider 508 testing to assure your site is in compliance The Content Management System outlined earlier in the document will help content creators create accessible content by requiring them to add descriptions and keywords to content. These descriptors can be translated into ALT tags and captions that will make our content more accessible.

INTERNATIONAL ISSUES
Various aspects of our business are becoming more important to international students. It is important that we take their needs into consideration. While it may be too costly for a true localization of content, one that takes the international culture and language into consideration
2 3

http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/ http://www.usability.gov/what-and-why/accessibility.html

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when designing every facet, we should still attempt to translate as much content as possible depending on target audiences. With this in mind, we should at least strive to translate all services and policies, into at least 3 of the most popular local languages for our campus community (ex. Spanish, Chinese, and Arabic).

COPYRIGHT CONCERNS
Our main concern when dealing with copyright issues is making sure we are explicit about our relationship to the content. It can be assumed that any content used across all platforms was created by us for us but there could be the need to use other sources. If we need to use images or text from outside sources, we must credit the content source. This is if, and only if their copyright policy allows for the use of their content.

PRIVACY AND SECURITY
Sustainability is a part of Michigan State University and needs to follow the privacy policy they already have in place. We should strive to meet all of the points outlined at msu.edu/privacy. Along with following these standards for privacy we also need to utilize a security policy because of our e-commerce services. Customers need to be aware of the steps we are taking to ensure they can safely provide payment details.

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Campaign Example
To demonstrate how this Content Strategy might be implemented, we have included a campaign example in which we run through the entire process for creating and maintaining content for a hypothetical project in relation to the overall business goals and benchmarks for the designated period. For ease of use, we have broken the process down into 6 steps: Step 1: Define mission statement/core values Step 2: Set Business Goals and period Benchmarks Step 3: Create Project to meet these goals and collect data to track progress toward benchmarks Step 4: Create Project Teams and assign Team Leaders Step 5: Create Content and Edit Content Step 6: Approve Content and Publish Step 1: Mission Statement To develop, provide, and nurture environmentally, socially, and economically viable practices. Step 2: Business Goal and Benchmarks Business Goal: For this example, we will use one business goal example: Increase campus engagement and education regarding Sustainability topics Benchmarks: 1. Have X number of people participate in some form of engagement activity for Fall Semester of 2015 2. Have X number of workshops hosted in the Education Center per month during the Fall Semester of 2015, for a total of at least X workshops 3. Reach an average attendance rate of at least X percent of available tickets sold per month for each workshop

Step 3: Project and Data Tracking Project: Create a Waste Reduction Workshop Series. This should include 2 workshops

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per month for the 4 months of Fall Semester 2015, equalling a total of 8 workshops. Data Tracking: A table should be created for this project in FileMaker, and fields should be made to track the name of each workshop seminar, the date and time each seminar is scheduled for, the number of available tickets, and who will be presenting each seminar. An additional FileMaker table should be made to track the seminar attendees’ information. Fields that should be included within this table include attendees’ name, email address, affiliation to the university, and what workshop seminars they will be attending.

Step 4: Create Teams Once the project has been set, a team leader should gather a team. One way to announce a new project to sustainability employees would be to include a project announcement in the internal newsletter which Ruth composes each week.

Step 5: Create and Edit As has been mentioned throughout the project, content creation should rely on the use of templates that follow our brand’s standards. The workflow should send the content through proper editing channels to ensure it meets quality and brand standards.

Step 6: Approve and Publish After the content has gone through the creation and editing process it needs to be approved. The person doing this approval will change project to project, but they need to be someone that will uphold brand policies. For a more detailed workflow example, both with and without a CMS, check the outline in the Content Management System section of this document.

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MAJOR TAKEAWAYS
In an effort to assist with implementing this Content Strategy, we have provided a review of the major takeaways for this transition. GOVERNANCE ● Benchmarks should be set to track progress toward business goals ● All content should be created to directly support at least one business goal. ● A governance structure and workflow process should be implemented to ensure content is created efficiently

CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM ● As much as is possible, content should be created and tracked within FileMaker

WEB PRESENCE ● If possible, the various Sustainability websites should be merged into one site ● All Sustainability generated web content should be accessible from a parent site ● All social media content should direct views back to a main Sustainability website

BRAND IDENTITY ● Templates should be provided for all general content types and should be made accessible to all employees (or atleast content creators) ● The style guide should be expanded to include naming standards during FIleMaker development and should also include hexadecimal codes for all color options ● The Brand Strategy document should be made easily accessible for all employees.

In addition to making the content creation process easier and faster, following this content strategy will assist with creating Sustainability reports because each piece of content will have an documented data set to support it and help tell our story.

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APPENDIX
1. Content Inventory
https://docs.google.com/a/msu.edu/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Agq7WD3iXPl3dGRjRTRCYW FhZjlESmYyTUpIVVhEZ3c&usp=drive_web#gid=0

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2. Templates

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