For years, collaboration has been important for content teams who want to have a unified strategy and seamless production approach. This is due in part to the shift toward remote work as technology made remote work easier. The shift to remote work has been expedited by COVID-19, which quickly forced 70% of the U.S. workforce to go remote in the first half of 2020 and continues in large part today.
Content is becoming increasingly important to most organizations, and the sudden move to working from home en masse did not change the trend. With professionals largely staying home, many of the regular customer touchpoints, such as show floors or sales lunches, became impossible, and content filled the void. Content teams, many of which had not been used to being so far apart from their colleagues, often have had to work overtime to compensate in the new reality.
In order to meet their new and ambitious goals, content teams need effective collaboration on their established content creation strategy. The risks of not collaborating properly are high, with a Salesforce report finding that 86% of employees cite lack of collaboration and ineffective communication for workplace failures.
The good news is there are tech solutions readily available from providers like Brightspot, to help dispersed content teams collaborate in one place to efficiently produce and distribute quality content.
The future of content is distributed
The pandemic accelerated the move of content teams to be more distributed, but there are good reasons for this shift and evidence that it will continue. In order to succeed, though, editorial leads must have the right practices in place for their distributed teams.
In a Slack report, US workers said that the most important elements of collaboration are communicating with colleagues easily and having clear responsibilities. In order for a team to be organized when thy cannot talk in-person, there should be one source of truth, such as a CMS with assignments and workflows, that makes it clear who’s working on what and enables tracking progress and reviews.
Assets also need to be in one place where they can be accessed by different creators working from anywhere. For instance, a news desk editor might need stories to include text, images, vide, and audio from contributors throughout the world, and it will get complicated if there isn't a central place for everyone to feed in.
It must also be easy for any contributor to give content a uniform look, since brand consistency cannot go out the window when teams are distributed. However when an IT pro can't walk over a few desks to help, it's important that design can be done without much support from technical team members.
Finally, when teams can't talk in an office, they must be able to communicate virtually about any questions or comments regarding the content. Communication must be fast and simple to ensure that content gets published by deadline.
Brightspot's solutions for distributed teams
Brightspot has worked with leading brands and newsrooms who have multiple locations and many remote workers. Its content business platform CMS is designed to enable collaboration between remote teams.
- The Assignment Desk offering serves as the one source of truth on who’s owning what and what the status is. The Workflows offering enables everyone to know the status of pieces of content and who’s responsible for what. Notifications alert creators of status however they want, such as through Slack or email. It's also possible to enable user roles and permissions so the right people access what’s intended for them.
- Brightspot is publisher-informed, so it’s designed for a newsroom with multiple writers having to collaborate on a story in minutes. This mentality adapts to fit many different use cases. The rich text editor with a track-changes function enables multiple editors to work together. Field-level locking lets multiple people work on a document without going over each other’s work. However the page as a whole doesn’t lock for editing, as is the case with many CMS editing tools. If a creator makes a mistake or an editor wants to undo a change, Brightspot makes it possible to see versions side by side and instantly switch back to a previous version. There is also a conversation tool in the CMS that allows collaborating editors to communicate. The live preview feature enables creators to see the final look of the piece at all times.
- When it comes time for design, Brightspot's content templates to improve efficiency, as everyone can agree and work easily on the look. The Media Desk is a DAM within the CMS, allows collaborators to share assets easily and consistently and get the right assets into content.
- Brightspot is browser-based and can be accessed anywhere. Its solutions can also be further customized for ultimate collaboration tailored to organizational needs.
The pandemic has ushered in the future of the distributed workforce faster than expected. Content teams must be able to collaborate in one place, know status, and have the right resources. If teams get on board with the right processes and tech now, they will be set up well into the future.