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December 15, 2016

A Plan First Approach to Content

When our Creative Services Manager, Michael Stazio, was asked what type of content he found most difficult to provide for clients, his answer wasn’t about the specific content, but the approach to content.

“When it comes to content for clients, it’s not always finding content that can be a challenge, but convincing those clients that before they dig into content, they need a plan.

Clients often find this idea challenging as they usually want to jump straight to the sparkly graphics but we’ve successfully made the transition to ‘content first’ and not only have our clients been on board, they have celebrated the procedure when the project has been finalized and launched.

Benefits of a Plan First Approach:  

  •       Superior understanding of who sees your signage and why
  •       Improved structure of information
  •       Well-defined and consistent tone throughout
  •       Directed messaging
  •       More applicable and capable content
  •       Easier to keep project on time and on budget

The major goal of a content plan is to set realistic milestones and to manage expectations, as well as to teach the client about producing the content they have been asked for. The time needed to get the content will be determined by the number of people involved, and other client obligations, whether they are starting from scratch or working with current content.  When a project starts, it’s important that interaction between both parties is well-defined and recurrent. The impact this will have on complete cost and schedule will then need to be established.

Once you have the content and begin to design your solution, there should be less wasted time and repetition as every choice you make will be educated and everything you show the client will be in context, in a context they can comprehend. Clarify the benefits to your clients and the perils of surging ahead with design. Set well-defined milestones for both sides and keep communication networks open during the whole project length.

As long as expectations are set, any questions that arise should be able to be dealt with efficiently, keeping the venture on time.”