Web Content Guidelines
Whether you’re writing a blog post, program description, application requirements, email campaign, social media post or even a headline or button text, this guide will help you write solid and engaging content that fits the Hope College brand.
Our website is never completely finished, and that’s a good thing. Features will evolve and pages will be added as we learn more about our audiences and find ways to improve their experience. We’re always creating new content, and the content we’ve already created must change constantly to remain accurate, up-to-date and relevant.
To do this well, we need a common language, common expectations and common standards for creating and maintaining useful content.
In this guide, we’ll cover the basics of planning, writing and editing content, introduce you to our audiences and give you a sense of Hope’s personality. This isn’t a rigid set of rules, so you won’t find many cut-and-dry prescriptions for what to do in specific situations. Rather, these standards will empower you to answer questions and solve problems yourself. With practice, you’ll soon be writing with clarity and confidence.
Who's in charge of the content?
Everyone shares responsibility for the content. Part of that is recognizing we’re all working together to serve the best interests of the college and, critically, our audiences.
Day-to-day, creating and maintaining content requires Influencers, Authors, Editors and Publishers all working together. Each of these roles is important, and none is more important than another. (Learn more about these roles in the Process, People and Workflow section.)
No one operates on their own
While some structure is necessary for quality-assurance and decisionmaking purposes — with Authors reviewing with Editors and Editors reviewing with Publishers — no single role has all the power or gets to make all the decisions. Authors can push back against a bad idea. Editors can lobby for or against a change. Almost anybody, including students, can be an Influencer — and no Influencer, no matter their title or position, can simply tell someone what to do without discussion.
This kind of collaboration requires careful thought, communication, listening and trust. When necessary, Public Affairs and Marketing will make the final call on major website questions, but each of us is accountable to our audiences, each other and the college for making the website the best it can be.