Update on Digital Content Strategy

It has been a while since I blogged on here and I wanted to share some progress around the digital content strategy.

So the following is a version of a recent update I gave internally using the 5 themes identified in the strategy as the basis for progress – this should give you a flavour of the work we have done and the progress made.

  1. Standards Driven
  2. User Driven
  3. Work with others
  4. Agile and Responsive
  5. Future proof

The following represents a high level summary of progress

Standards Driven – (a global experience language)

Summary Description:

Our web domain will be an ecosystem or network of solutions all governed by a set of rules (a global experience language, or GEL ) so they look, talk and behave like part of the core and are also searchable and indexed from a single (federated) search facility.

The GEL itself will be developed using feedback and evidence around the use of our web domain and will be constantly reviewed and updated to ensure that it stays current and in line with significant changes in web delivery.


User Driven (evidence based)

Summary Description:

Using web-based analytics is essentially about looking at how your website is being used. It gives you a feel for how many visits your site gets over a given time period, how many of these visits are unique, what the most popular pages are, as well as a whole range of other information.

In order to measure and evaluate our content effectively we need to adopt a blended approach which uses traditional web analytics along with additional sources of information/data.

These would include

  • Heuristic Evaluations (end users and staff)
  • Data from Customer Service Centre
  • Data from Freedom of Information requests
  • Web Analytics (google trends, google analytics and govmetric)
  • Feedback and complaints
  • Profiling and Content Engagement
  • Online Surveys


  • Process set up to ensure appropriate analytics data is used consistently at the start of content projects
    • Google trends
    • Google analytics
    • Customer Service Statistics
    • Online Feedback
    • Govmetric data
  • Beta.devon.gov.uk created to allow for user feedback and testing
  • Use of external partners/ stakehodler groups for additional user testing for example HealthWatch tested the new Adult Social Care pages

A Procurement and Commissioning Framework – (working with others)

Summary Description:

It is important to acknowledge that the council will not be able to deliver and implement the content strategy in isolation or alone. In order to achieve the aims of the content strategy we need to ensure that the GEL is consistently applied whenever county council content is being presented online whether via a website, mobile phone app, digital TV service etc.


  • Corporate Communications Procurement Framework
    • Lot 1 – Full service agencies: Full marketing and social marketing campaign planning and delivery
    • Lot 1a – Design only: Design and creative services
    • Lot 2 – Media planning, buying and evaluation: This includes newspapers, bus backs, radio, TV and online and must be used for all advertising
    • Lot 3 – Audio, visual and broadcast production: Short films for the web, DVD, adverts etc
    • Lot 4 – Consultation, engagement and market research: Consultation, engagement, involvement, and market research activity
    • Lot 5 – Strategic public and press relations: Strategic public relations, reputation management and stakeholder relations
    • Lot 6 – Web design/web development: Graphical web design, website and content planning and the development of a single or multiple website
    • Lot 7 – Mobile app development: Mobile app design, development and deployment though apps stores
  • Community Directory
    We have working on how we can effectively integrate the data and content into our wider website. Two examples are below

    • Adult Social Care and Health
    • SEND (The Local Offer)

Development through iteration (agile and response)

Summary Description:

The content strategy requires a new way of thinking about our domain and website and for these reasons we should adopt a more agile approach to development. The main reason for this is that the web is a dynamic, constantly changing environment and subsequently drove a large number of our “microsites” to be developed outside of our corporately provided systems.

Moving forward we are creating a plan to address the remaining areas of the DCC website and to ensure that the public information challenges are addressed.


Number of sites developed

A refreshed Web Architecture – (future proofing)

Summary Description:

The web is a dynamic environment and needs an infrastructure and architecture to ensure that the organisation can respond to rapid changes as well as providing appropriate security and  resilience. It should also enable the council to reduce costs (directly and indirectly) and where possible provide shared opportunities for partners and communities.


New web content management platform (wordpress)

  • WordPress CMS
    • new.devon
    • beta.devon
  • Google Custom Search
  • External Hosting
  • Google
    • maps
    • fusion tables
    • drive (temporary document storage for public information

Creating shared opportunities

The current costs for the content layer of the website is as follows and excludes staff costs:

  • WordPress CMS = £0
  • WordPress Support = £0
  • Web Hosting (external) = £3.5k
  • Search (google custom search) = £0
  • Temporary Document storage = £0
  • Total – £3.5k

This is only really a snapshot of the teams work and outputs and we are about to enter another period of rapid development and we are working more closely with our colleagues from ICT to ensure that we add value across content and transactions.

The following represents our draft content development / migration plan between January 2014 – March 2015

  1. Top level homepage and global navigation
  2. Roads and Transport
  3. Children and families
  4. Schools and education
  5. Your council
  6. Planning, environment and waste
  7. Economy and business
  8. Communities

Carl Haggerty

All things digital - content, strategy, communications, innovation, engagement, participation, data and people

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One thought on “Update on Digital Content Strategy

  1. Pingback: Update on Digital Content Strategy – Re:work Digital | Public Sector Blogs

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