The LavaCon Content Strategy Conference | 27–30 October 2024 | Portland, OR
Michael Haggerty-Villa

Michael Haggerty-Villa is the director of content strategy at Teradata, where he leads a team that encompasses content design, help and education content, and technical documentation. He has served as a design and design systems manager at Compass, BILL, Intuit QuickBooks, and other brands, and he spearheaded the initial launch of the Intuit Content Design System ( He has put his content design and content strategy skills to work with a diverse set of companies, such as Blue Shield of California, HP Software, eBay, and Disney Parks and Resorts Online. He lives outside Washington, D.C.

Phantoms of Content Strategy: The People Who Help and Hurt Content Projects and What You Can Do About It

Let’s talk about people. They’re scary enough without us calling them phantoms.
But we need to talk about the phenomenon of phantom content strategy: when people in your organization do content strategy, often without calling it that and sometimes (often?) without collaborating with the content team.
Product managers frequently do phantom content strategy—naming things without considering the established product taxonomy, predesigning how a feature might look and the language in it, or telling content designers or technical documentation writers what to write.
Other folks in your organization might also do phantom content strategy. Managers, product designers, project managers, software engineers. Yes CEOs have been known to do it too. It happens everywhere. And it happens in your organization.
What can we do about it?
Sometimes we welcome the extra work. Sometimes the extra work doesn’t, well, work. That’s where good intentions might lead to some scary content harm.
Let’s chat about these things and figure out ways to bring more content strategy value into the light.

In this session, attendees will learn:

  • Collaboration with everyone
  • Valuing relationships more than content
  • Finding the content strategy balance for your organization