Technical communication is a well-developed academic discipline and professional field in the North America and many parts of Europe while content strategy is an emerging field in the last decade. In China both technical communication and content strategy are two fledgling occupational fields. No previous studies have examined how practitioners perceive the connections between content strategy and technical communication. Last year we conducted a survey of the current state of content strategy in China. Thanks to the 33 technical communicators in China who completed the survey, we were able to paint a broad stroke of content strategists in China. Some of the topics examined include job titles, responsibilities, industries, professional and academic backgrounds, and lengths of involvement of those working on content strategy in China. We also gained insights on the current understandings of content strategy, perceptions of its impacts on organization, and common practices used to tackle content strategy tasks.
We compared our preliminary findings to research done by influencers and leading industry agencies in content strategy and technical communication, for example, Kristina Halvorson, Scott Abel, the 2014 and 2016 Content Strategy Alliance (CSA) survey reports, CIDM trends on content readiness, Adobe’s 2018 trends on technical communication. We came to this working definition for content strategy: The planning for creation, delivery, and governance of useful and usable content that your audience find meaningful, relevant, and timely to achieve their objectives and that in turn help you reach your business goals. Through practices at Microsoft and Alibaba, we will explain how content strategy works at the business operation level.
Dawning upon the data from our research into content strategy work in the academic, private, and non-profit sectors, in addition to the research amassed from authoritative academic and industry sources, we conclude our presentation with an answer to the question “Is content strategy the future of work in technical communication?” as well as the skills needed in the next 5-10 years for technical communicators.