In January 2011, PlanPhilly, a news organization dedicated to covering Philadelphia’s built environment, decided that a strategic planning process was necessary to identify how to improve its day-to-day content strategy and position its generous amount of content to generate new revenue.
Working with a Technically Media consultant, the organization analyzed four years of budget operations, web traffic metrics and the qualitative value of its content to make decisions.
The value driven from that web content-first vision impacted core strategies of the organization. By researching the ways in which its web audience utilizes its content, and by developing goals to improve that engagement, PlanPhilly has since updated its mission statement, identified a significant savings in its budget, hired new staff to implement its strategic overhaul, and enacted a complete web redesign to better serve as the hub of the organization.
Web sites can no longer be measured by the number of pageviews they generate. In order to build and strengthen community, the web must be measured by engagement and action. We dove into PlanPhillyâ€™s web analytics to understand deeply how users discovered content, how they navigated the site and which content had the best return on investment. We found dozens of opportunities to increase interest and impact, including the creation of new editorial channels and the streamlining of existing roles.
By meeting with dozens of stakeholders â€” both internal to and external of the organization â€” Technically Media was able to collect on-the-ground perspective of how users were visualizing and utilizing PlanPhillyâ€™s content. These conversations created new opportunities for PlanPhilly to adjust its operations in response to factual considerations, not guesses.
PlanPhillyâ€™s redesign, currently in production as of March 2012 and being overseen by Technically Media, is significantly strengthened by the more than 8 months of painstaking research poured into it. That wasnâ€™t bureaucracy taking over. That was the result of leadership that understood that a significant investment into a redesign needed to do more than look pretty: it needed to operate in concert with the organizationâ€™s processes and mission.