Building Collaboration Through Content Strategy

A core component of Knowledge Management (KM) revolves aCollaboration Through Content Strategyround content collaboration. Yet, even with knowledge and social sharing systems in place, it can be hard to build and encourage collaboration across KM systems, especially with today’s flexible office environments. Not only can your information feel siloed, so can your people.

Developing a comprehensive content strategy custom tailored to your content and the needs of your people

and how they work together can help to address this. If content is king, then effective strategy is que
en, providing critical structure and a base of common understanding on how your content is developed, managed, updated, and shared over time.

Collaboration not only comes through built-in community and social features on your site but also through providing staff, particularly those who function as content managers and authors, a sense of their roles and responsibilities in managing, distributing, and storing content within and across your KM system.

EK focuses on three main ways to leverage content strategy to encourage collaboration within enterprise KM systems:


Workshop Your Content Strategy

One simple way to build collaboration is to hold a workshop to refine your existing content strategy. Most content strategists begin each engagement with an audit of your existing strategy to inventory your content types, your target audiences, and your existing content management system and governance plan to gauge efficacy. For your workshop, you can do this internally or bring in an external resource to facilitate, but make sure the session is honed to your company, your services, and your people.

Involve your staff through surveys, focus groups, or group facilitated dialogue sessions to determine their needs and their pain points when it comes to your content and how it is shared, stored, and managed in your company. Do people know how to get their news or area updates on your website? Is blogging an individual or group effort? What types of social sharing would be useful to help improve professional development and knowledge sharing within your organization?

Workshops and other user engagement techniques will help you assess your existing strategy and to identify areas of improvement and refinement. They also can serve as a catalyst for collaboration within your organization, identifying common areas for development as well as similar processes between different practice areas or departments. Perhaps most importantly, these engagement techniques help to drive change and adoption.


Evaluate Your Intranet Community Features

In addition to workshopping your content strategy, another useful collaboration-building tactic is to evaluate and expand your intranet community features. Happily, there are a variety of ways to make your staff feel more connected and involved without making a huge investment.

Some questions to consider:

  • Does your site have comprehensive social sharing with like buttons, send to email buttons, and feedback sections to track and gauge content efficacy?
  • Do you have a built-in community feature for your staff in which they can interact, create groups, and ask questions in forums to connect?
  • Do you have an internal blog that can act as an internal knowledge sharing resource?

All of these approaches function to encourage your staff to interact with each other and to be curious and open to share and learn within your organization.


Focus on Social Engagement

Similarly, adding social engagement to the scope of your content strategy can be a powerful thing when it comes to collaboration and building employee loyalty.

Community engagement functionality can go a long way to making staff feel more invested in your organization and helping them connect with their colleagues. Moreover, real value comes when you link this feeling of connectedness to professional development. If your staff member not only feels connected to your organization but also like he or she is gaining new skills and knowledge that will open new doors, you suddenly have an empowered employee.

Some effective social engagement features include:

  • Badging: This allows people to earn points and gain badges for studying knowledge resources (documents, presentations, and webinars).
  • Ratings: The ability to rate individual articles and knowledge resources functions as crowdsourcing for your content to tag frequently read or relevant content to bring it to the top of search results.
  • Ask the Expert: This allows staff and even a wider audience to ask questions directly to subject matter experts (SMEs) within your organization. Encouraging your staff to serve as SMEs and to ask questions themselves can be an excellent way to deepen community and build thought leadership within your organization.

No matter where you choose to start, becoming aware of how your organization collaborates and shares content is a key to KM success. Content strategy is most effective when your staff understands the full 360 view on how they personally benefit and what they can learn through sharing knowledge and collaborating with colleagues. Only then can your content and strategy rule harmoniously.


Rebecca Wyatt Rebecca Wyatt Skilled trainer, content strategist, and project manager who is focused on empowering teams and maximizing learning. Rebecca is a self-described "learning addict" who is at her best collaborating with and inspiring teams to greater success. More from Rebecca Wyatt »