It was recently announced that in the UK, the Royal Family was going through a bit of a corporate merger and restructuring, one might say. Her Majesty The Queen is getting up there in age (she’s almost 88 years old), and while she still maintains a full schedule that probably would put people half her age to shame, it was announced that her communications office and the communications office of her son, HRH The Prince of Wales, would be merging. This inferred that 65 year-old Prince Charles, who’s of retirement age himself yet shows no signs of slowing down either, is slowly going to be taking on more affairs of the regency on behalf of his mother. While the Queen has vowed never to abdicate or give up the throne (and if she lasts as long as her own mum, that could be another 15 years), it looks like she might be winding down to a point that she is slowly transitioning the affairs of state to Charles, as well as delegating responsibilities to her grandchildren as well. According to the Sunday Telegraph, “Reports suggest the move should avoid clashes of coverage of royal events as younger royals perform more engagements, and spread expertise in modern media.”
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So, all this is fine, but what does this have to do with content strategy, you may ask? Simple. This scenario really isn’t that different than any other company having to merge content written by different departments, like that of technical content writers and marketing content writers. Everyone in the merger or restructing needs to speak the same “language”, or to use a better description, they all need to use the same terminology. One of the issues that has been surfaced in recent tech comm talk in conferences and blogs is the idea of “silos”–different departments writing content, but not getting together to make sure that everyone is using the same terminology and language to communicate the company message consistently. This can lead to mixed messages in print, in multimedia, and online very quickly if everyone isn’t on the “same page”. Joe Gollner’s Adobe Day-Lavacon 2013 talk came to mind as I was thinking about this merger, and what it meant to have different departments sending out different messages.
So, the merger of the royal communications offices makes total sense, really. In an age where news is spread quickly throughout the internet, especially through social media, it seems like a proactive move on the part of the royals to start this transition. One office will need to juggle multiple products–in this case, the royal family members–by providing a single voice and consistent message to promote their activities or relevance, whether it be in print or by digital means. The royals are already a bit ahead of the curve of many corporations, having already set up fairly active websites and social media presence on the internet. They even have their own YouTube account and several Twitter accounts, for example! The communications offices are already on top of internet media, and this step seems like a modern move that many companies are still hesitant to make. Perhaps the royals, known for being a bit stuffy and overly traditional, might actually be cutting edge, and setting the example of how to move forward in the 21st century.
It’s something to think about.
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