Moving to an organization-wide content strategy is a major shift. We must remain vigilant, as it’s easy to slide back into the comfortable status quo zone of thinking about the minutia of “website design” instead of customer-focused “content.

Extension faculty and staff aren’t responsible for “updating a website” or “webpage.” In this dynamic site, Extension faculty and staff are responsible for adding and editing content in the website. This means investing time in auditing, evaluating, and identifying content that is relevant, sharable, and appropriate to integrate in the Extension website.

Benefits of the new site

  • Content management system is used as intended – to post in one place and tag to show up where ever it is relevant.
  • Customer-focused website – internal feedback and preference informs our decision making but does not drive it.
  • Building with the end in mind – managing our content in this way allows for integration and personalization down the road, as we eventually add a customer relationship management tool (Salesforce), targeted and segmented marketing communications, and connections between our content and other OSU systems in the future.

Challenges of the new site

  • Major change in how we think and act – requires significant training time and one-on-one and group discussions.
  • Is a work in progress – minimal viable product means starting basic, and then designing and adding functionality based on how it is being used.

Change is hard and usually involves complex conversations and rough patches before people adjust. As we move forward EESC will continue to meet with program areas and content team leaders to learn their perspectives, get internal feedback about the site, and share information from the site (e.g., content status, analytics) to help inform strategy and content decisions.

We also invite you to help us get in touch with external stakeholders, who could do usability tests and help us better understand their needs as well.

Excerpts summarized from OSU Extension Website Strategy Report, July 2016
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