Scaling our voice: Supporting 600 authors to create a consistent

Julia Gutierrez, Adam Cogbill

Since 2016, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Digital Services team has been hard at work reinventing our digital front door, The new site is agency agnostic: We want constituents to feel confident that they can find what they need without having to know which agency or bureaucratic process to navigate.

This session focuses on how we created a voice, and how our content strategy and customer success teams scaled that voice through working with more than 600 content authors across more than 140 state agencies.

We’ve embarked on a journey to train, support, and listen. Our content authors are a diverse bunch: Some are subject matter experts, others communications professionals, web liaisons, or interns. Some have years of experience writing for the web. For others, “inline link” is new vocabulary. Some have experience with Drupal. Most don’t. And the idea of creating a unified voice is new for all of them--and for us.

In this session, you will learn about the strategies we’ve employed to train content authors, and to scale the voice. We’ll describe how we’ve:

Defined the voice, including how we structure content, how we talk to users, and how we make data-driven decisions about content improvement.
Evolved our support model from 2 people monitoring an Outlook account to a distributed model that leverages the entire team’s knowledge, and that understands what technical improvements and enhancements will be most consequential for authors.
Trained authors to learn and adopt our voice by creating self-help resources, encouraging the use of analytics and content improvement tools, forming communities of practice, and using Drupal 8’s tour module.

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