I am a web content strategist for Parks Canada based in Ottawa, Ontario.
My current work lets me practice what I enjoy most – UX design, content strategy, marketing, and problem solving. Making a good first impression on our visitors is what motivates me each day. It’s a privilege to help promote Canada’s 47 National Parks, 171 National Historic Sites, 4 Marine Conservation Areas and 1 National Urban Park each day.
In 2017, we had 17 million visitors to our website, making us Parks Canada’s busiest “location”.
What does a day in the life of a content strategist look like?
As the lead content strategist, I am responsible for collaborating with clients and gathering information for new products and services. This research allows me to clearly define the problem, identify audiences, clarify goals, work out timelines, and plan for measurement.
A combination of empathy, logic and data helps me understand and anticipate needs in order to propose user-centred solutions.
I synthesize findings into a web strategy that clearly documents project details and deliverables. This attention to detail ensures that the strategy will meet the needs of our audiences and align with Agency goals.
Putting plans into practice
As the website’s plain language champion, it’s my job to make information easier to understand and use, by breaking down complex information so the public doesn’t have to.
To do this, I follow information design best practices outlined in the Canada.ca Content Style Guide and the Canada.ca Content and Information Architecture Specification by:
- considering the needs of the audience
- making informed decisions using data (quantitative and qualitative)
- reviewing content with plain language and readability in mind
- placing content wisely in the information architecture
- ensuring page content structure follows a logical, task-based approach
- considering patterns from the WET style guide to organize content
- building pages that respect official language and accessibility policies
- thinking mobile-first and ensuring device interoperability
- measuring content success
- upholding solutions that follow the Government of Canada digital standards.
Sharing what I know is a big part of the job
I deliver writing for the web training 3-4 times per year to new internet officers and content creators across the Agency. This training covers Government of Canada content policies, plain language writing, information design, keywords, SEO, and brand tone.