Your email dings and you look up, heart sinking as you see the words “Add to website?” in the subject line. You open the email and scan the attachment, seeing 15 photos of people with their backs to the camera, standing in a field somewhere, looking at an unidentified small plant. Or people in a classroom doing…stuff?
The event details and photos are not exciting, they don’t align with your content strategy, and they don’t further your unit’s goals or users’ goals at all. But the person emailing you is faculty, or an adviser, or someone you want to keep a good working relationship with. But you do not, I MEAN DO NOT, want this content on your website.
What to do?
I’ve found it helpful to keep a list of tactics, deflections, and strategies designed to help you push back, and find a more appropriate place for this content.
For your allies (people who understand that you are more than just a webmaster):
- Ask them how this content serves site’s criteria for audience, goals, or message. I’ve found that it’s helpful to have a one or two sentence description of these topics so that you can refer to them quickly/copy & paste into an email.
For all others:
- Social Media – because I am not a social media manager, this is a really easy tactic for me to apply. YMMV. Content shared in social media will dilute the message and may reduce engagement. However, it will most likely “disappear” and not be a problem in a short amount of time.
- Email – If this is content that would be appropriate for a limited audience, send it through email.
- Archive – If the photos are good, high quality photos that could (in theory) be used in different ways, add it to an (off line) photo archive for future promotion.
What do you do when you are told to “put it on the website”?