My newest article, “Content Strategy Service-Learning Partnerships with Nonprofit Organizations: A Guiding Heuristic and Overview of Deliverables,” is currently available in the Association of Computing Machinery’s Digital Library as part of the proceedings of the 34th Annual International Conference on the Design of Communication (ACM SIGDOC). In the article, Lisa Dush, Suzan Flanagan, RJ Thompson, and I explain our approach to teaching content strategy within higher education.
Why Do We Need To Teach Content Strategy Service Learning?
As we explain in the article, content strategy is a natural fit for technical communicators and other professionals who want to create service-learning partnerships with local nonprofits. Not only is content strategy a valuable skill for students to add to their resumes, nonprofits frequently suffer from a lack of a consistent content strategy to govern all their communication (i.e. web, email, social media, internal documents, etc.). At the same time, precious few courses in content strategy exist within higher education. There is a significant opportunity for researchers and teachers within higher ed to help prepare students for the realities of content strategy beyond the classroom while also contributing to local nonprofits that provide valuable services to communities.
What Does Our Approach Look Like?
In the article, we break down content strategy service-learning into a three-part heuristic:
- Research and document content audiences
- Identify audience- and capacity-appropriate platforms and content types
- Create documents for decision-making, implementation, and governance
For each part of our heuristic, we provide detailed steps for higher ed professionals of all stripes who want to build assignments or entire courses around content strategy and who want to partner with local nonprofits to produce deliverables for them.