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Changing our editor structure for new.shropshire.gov.uk

This is a guest post by Mark Jones, Web Content Authoriser

For several years now, our team of web editors have done a magnificent job of keeping the council’s website up-to-date, telling us when pages need to be deleted or amended, or when attachments are obsolete. This has resulted in our website being commended externally as being dynamic relative to those of other authorities.

However, given that we have over 300 editors across the organisation there are inevitably differences in approaches and contrasting levels of interest in the role. It is a time-consuming commitment, which can be difficult to balance with the demands of their day job.

With the arrival of the new website, our intention is to slim down our team of editors to one per service, to ensure that we deliver improvements by:

  • Giving each service editor a sense of real ownership of the pages he or she is responsible for
  • Turning the role of ‘web editor’ into a more specialised one, letting our smaller group become experts
  • Allowing the web team to spend much more time with each editor on training, development, support and the exchange of ideas
  • Allowing this smaller group of editors the chance to get together for regular group meetings, something which is impossible with our current number
  • Ensuring that content across each service has a consistent look and feel, enhancing the overall user experience of our website

The intention is to have a tight-knit group of web super users, offering a professional and knowledgeable presence locally within each service, with the overall effect of delivering a joined-up feel to our website.

7 comments

  1. I have to add new attachments to web pages on a Friday (every week). Will I still be able to do this or will I have to send to the one web editor for our service for them to add. What happens if this one person is off which may cause problems because these attachments have to be added on a Friday.

    • Hi Tracie

      When your service moves across to the new website we will work with you and look at the way the information gets put on the website as well as considering whether attachments are the best way to do this.

      We won’t work in isolation, your team will be involved every step of the way.

      Thanks

      L

  2. If it is your intention for each service to have its own editor, does that mean that I remain the editor for Shropshire Parking Service? The web pages that I am responsible for are quasi judicial and technically complicated, I would not like to see an untrained professional start to mess with our page content.

    • Hi Sue

      Thanks for your comments.

      If the new shropshire.gov.uk prototype is a success we will move one service at a time onto the new website.

      When it comes to your area we will ensure that the service is involved every step of the way, we will work in partnership with your team and not in isolation.

      Thanks

      L

  3. Can difine more what you see as service.
    A service team or a wider general service?
    Thanks

    • Hi David,

      When we use the word service we are talking generally about a collection of tasks that are related from the customer’s point of view (Renew a book, pay a fine, find a library = Libraries).

      We are trying not to talk in terms of service areas or departments as this is not how the website will be organised (although it will be managed in that way, and we will be migrating content in that way), so in theory a single service area could be responsible for many services on the website.

      Martin :)

  4. Good luck to you guys and remember not to lose heart as you will get a lot of flak from within your organisation.
    At my previous authority, Ellesmere Port & Neston, we tried the super user approach including much of what you suggest, for example:
    Regular meetings
    Better training and support for the remaining editors
    Fewer editors using the system more often does lead to an improvement in quality and in customer experience. Sadly our experiment went down the tubes when LGR was announced but that’s another story.
    The approach will work so long as you have the backing of senior managers and councillors (to get away from people trying to go over your heads through the chain of command) and you stick to your guns and think of the customer in everything you do.

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