Dec 01, 2015

Taming your company’s web content

Why marketing managers sleep better when using GatherContent
By Ian DeRanieri, Digital Producer

In marketing, content is king. I’m probably not the first person to tell you that. Good content attracts visitors to your site, drives leads down the sales funnel, and brings results to your bottom line.

If you’re responsible for managing your company’s website, we know what you’re up against. There are subject-matter experts to corral, writers to direct, editors to challenge, and internal and external clients to please. Each piece of text needs to be reviewed for accuracy, tone, adherence to brand guidelines, and, in many cases, adherence to compliance and governance guidelines.

At Pennebaker, we continually test various process enhancement tools. Occasionally we run into some we really love – and GatherContent is one of them.

Gather what? GatherContent is a web-based copy-doc management application for collaborative digital teams.


  1. Holy copy doc, Batman!

    Once the architecture of your website is completed, the number and types of pages must be created.tata

    The templating feature allows you to define different types of pages. Some can be very basic, with “Headline, Body copy, Call to action” being the only fields. Other will be complex, requiring content for subheads, product features, imagery, and even (my favorite part!) allowing for the tagging of dynamic relationships. Once the types are defined, you assign them to pages with a simple click.

  2. Mind the gap.

    It’s easy to forget that, unlike print materials, web copy must include excerpts for social media usage, metadata for search engine preview, calls to action, etc. The portal reminds you that web text goes beyond headline and body copy. By filling the content gaps early in the process, you eliminate last-minute text requests from your production team.

  3. Sweet, sweet version control.

    How many times has your document gone from “Website-Content-V1.doc” to “Web-copy-v12_Bob_final-Final-FOR-REAL-FINAL”? It’s a frustrating phenomenon that occurs when team members aren’t all on the same page with versioning semantics.

    You know how Microsoft Word tracks changes and comments? GatherContent goes beyond that. It tracks every version and comment, and keeps them organized and readable. Since pages are tracked independently of the document as a whole, each page has its own version. When the page is truly approved, the workflow tool marks it as such, and no changes can be made after that.

  4. Progress by the dashboard light.

    We can’t mention the workflow tool without discussing, well, workflow! Projects run in approximately 8 steps: from “Draft" to “Client Approved” to “Ready for Production.” GatherContent allows for project-wide status overview – a dashboard-like glance at your content progress.

  5. “Hey! Listen!”

    Another nice feature: friendly forewarnings triggered by a status change. For example, when a writer changes the status from “Draft” to “Ready for review,” the reviewers receive an email with a link and a friendly “Hey, you’ve got something to review.”

Like any tool, GatherContent doesn’t make writing content any easier, but it helps creators, subject experts, and proofreaders focus on their parts of the process. And for marketing managers, progress becomes easier to report, timelines more manageable, and the light at the end of the tunnels shines brighter.

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