The LavaCon Content Strategy Conference | 14–17 October 2023 | San Diego, CA
Carrie Sheaffer

Carrie Sheaffer is the Director of Information Development at Nextworld, a software company offering cutting-edge enterprise applications and a no-code platform. Carrie began her career in 2001, working as a junior technical writer and learning how to document API. Over the years, she has written developer documentation, designed documentation for emerging products, managed writers in the US and abroad, and developed a reputation for effective management and strategic thinking. Since 2017, she has been directing the Technical Communications efforts at Nextworld, guiding the construction of an all-new documentation suite.

It’s Not All Smooth Sailing:
Plotting a Route for Content Strategy from Startup to Mid-Sized Company

It might seem like an ideal situation: getting in at the very beginning of a company and designing the content strategy from scratch. Imagine that there was next to no existing content, no systems already in place, and no product on the market for the next year. In other words, where you had the time and the space and the mandate to figure it all out. What would you do?

This case study examines that scenario over the course of a six-year span. The company grew from 30 employees to 500, with increasingly complex content requirements and more stakeholders. Initial strategies needed to adapt. Documentation went from being the only department creating content to one of many. Suddenly—despite the best intentions—there were silos. The simplistic early content strategy needed to evolve to include the different departments and their current needs.

In this session attendees will learn:

  • How to plot a route—what to think about as you get started, from style guides to content structure to writing tools.
  • Communication strategies—methods that worked (and maybe some that didn’t) when seeking buy-in from executives and other department heads.
  • What to watch out for—common pitfalls and obstacles that can arise at early stages and during periods of rapid growth.
  • Tips for correcting course—strategies for responding when you (inevitably) make mistakes.