Why Governance Is Imperative to your Content Strategy

4 minute read

Upland Admin

In February 2013, Michael Brito of Edelman Digital joined us at Content Marketing Bootcamp to discuss “Transforming Your Brand Into a Media Company” (see his full session here). It’s a brilliant talk and definitely worth the watch, but 30 minutes is only long enough to scratch the surface of this important topic, critical to any brand interested in maintaining relevance in this shifting world. For that very reason, Michael Brito has published a new book digging into why brands need to change their thinking when it comes to building an audience and reaching the right buyers–and, of course, how they can do it now.

For a preview of the book, Michael Brito was wonderful enough to share this slightly edited excerpt from Your Brand: The Next Media Company, which is now available for preorder on Amazon. Enjoy!

Content governance is a strategic imperative when deploying an enterprise wide content strategy for the purposes of establishing accountability, auditing content engagements, managing risk and setting permissions. Every person, whether employee or customer, will have a specific role and/or responsibility when it comes to creating content, approving content, distributing content as well as the internal collaboration needed to integrate content that touches paid, earned and owned media.

By implementing a content governance framework, layered across the entire organization, teams are enabled to collaborate through an approval process with distinct workflow and established audit trails, thus ensuring the right content is being utilized within the right channel. Audit trails through all processes and actions are an overall best practice for all large and small brands; and must be considers a requirement regardless off what industry you work in. These audit trails should always be referenced for the purposes of displaying content and user action history with corresponding approvals. Possessing a governance hierarchy will immediately reduce risk during a crisis, and can be used to “lock down” publishing access across all social accounts if a certain situation arises.

Content governance can be defined as a detailed framework of content delivery and management; ensuring that there are documented controls in place to ensure that there is consistent brand storytelling across paid, earned and owned media. A content governance model should include:

  • Collaboration models for internal teams complete with audit trails
  • An approval workflow for proactive content (unplanned and planned content)
  • An escalation workflow for reactive content (crisis, customer support)
  • Workflows that mitigate risk (i.e. access to social properties, employees leaving the company, accidental messages being sent)
  • Processes to handle rogue accounts and the creation of new branded accounts
  • Enterprise wide, single point password control systems
  • Establishes user roles within a social strategy (contributor, approver, publisher, administrator) to be discussed in chapter 11.

It might be easy to confuse content governance and a social media policy. Usually, content governance will be a part of the larger social media policy. A social media policy (sometimes referred to as social media guidelines) is a corporate code of conduct that provides guidance for employees who post content on the Internet or engage with external customers either as part of their specific job function or just as an employee. In my last book, Smart Business, Social Business, I walk readers how to create a social media policy, step by step.

Content governance is just as important as it ensures that there are controls in place that govern when/what/why content is being created, approved and distributed. It’s a strategic imperative that enables a brand so tell a consistent story across paid, earned and owned media channels.

The challenge with deploying enterprise wide content governance is finding a technology solution that can scale. The thing to remember when selecting a vendor is to ensure that they can build and scale their capabilities around your technical and business requirements. It shouldn’t be the other way around.

Michael Brito is an SVP at Edelman Digital and the author of, Your Brand: The Next Media Company, which is now available for preorder on Amazon. You can follow him on Twitter or his social strategy blog.

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