This is one of those round-up posts. 2018 has been pretty lovely and I am massively grateful to you for allowing me to be part of this fabulous content industry.

People

We’ve gone from 3 people: me (Sarah), Ruth (social media manager who has been with me from the start) and Claire (who holds the whole of CDL together)  to 8 main staff, and more contractors we work with regularly.

We will be looking to expand again fairly soon so if you are looking for work, watch out for emails in the next few months.

Sprints and consultancy

We have been offering consultancy and sprint packages over the last year where we help organisations figure out a solution to a particular content problem. In our December blog post by Hinrich, he talks about content sprints and matching user needs with business needs.

Training

As well as offering consultancy, we’ve trained nearly 300 people in content design and content strategy all around the world.

Our open courses are now selling out within weeks, which is wonderful, brilliant to see so many more people embracing content design as a discipline.

Travels

We’ve been training and consulting all over the world including Oslo, Jakarta, Singapore and Australia.

The trip to Australia was the most mesmerising for me. I spoke at 5 events in 4 days plus chats with some amazing individuals and companies. I came back thinking ‘we need to do the course out there! It’s so fabulous!’ but then we hit immigration. If we are allowed to take our training to Oz next year, we will. If you are interested in that, please let us know on Twitter or LinkedIn so we can register interest.

For 2019

Time to look ahead then.

For 2019, the team and I have 3 topics that we will focus on:

1.Silo working

Many people are very excited about AI and voice search etc. So am I. I honestly think voice search will save the written word. Companies might finally understand the nature of concise text!

But the one thing I would love to see change is silo working. Content, designers, marketing and others all sitting apart, throwing documents about is not collaborative working. It’s (usually) a mess of track changes. 😀

When we consult for a company, we work to break those silos but I am wondering if there is something more useful we can do. Perhaps take some of the tools we use and run a series of blog posts or webinars etc. If you have some solutions you’d like to share or any ideas, get in touch.

2.Accessibility is usability

I’ve spoken about it at the London Accessibility Meetup about this and will continue to do so at other events next year. We are also looking at accessibility as part of the Readability guidelines. If you want to catch up on that project, just sone of the blog posts are:

Readability guidelines

Readability: the end of the alpha

Readability: week 3 of the beta

We will be publishing the last in the readability series in January.

3.Content people need to be paid more

We can’t change a complete industry, we know that. But as with everything, we can control our world so I’ll start there.

Looking at full-time content design roles, where people are expected to have 5 years’ experience for £33,000 per year is not on.

Content people literally control the way the world sees, thinks and feels about a brand. £33k? No.

We do little recruitment: we have high standards of working environment and conditions and that doesn’t suit many organisations. We want to know that content design and content strategy will be valued. Part of that is how much an organisation will pay. We will be looking to organisations to pay at least £42,000 per year for a permanent, experienced content designer. I’d like to see a minimum of £50k but we’ll start with £42k.

If we recruit for a more junior position, we will advertise those positions as long as a training or progression plan is part of the job description and contract.

Now for some organisations, £45k easy. But for many it is not. There does seem to be a correlation between how much you pay your staff and how much you value them. Of course, with some charities, people work for less because of the subject. We will take briefs on a case-by-case basis. But I would hope that next year, I can say that we have seen an increase in content design cash.

That was my last rant of 2018 😀

Whatever you are up to this month, I’d like to wish you and yours a very lovely 2019.

Sarah