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Defining Roles and Responsibilities

Websites are strategy-driven projects. This means they’re more about communication than technology. Roles are needed for planning, content development, site building and stewardship. Those staffing a website may have more than one role, but all roles need to be considered. The roles defined below are ongoing. Roles involved in the initial planning and preparation process are usually onetime and are not covered here.

Leadership Roles

Unit Executive

  • Provides strategic direction and authority

Unit Web Leader (UWL)

  • UWLs get strategic directions and authority from executives.
  • UWLs lead the communications/marketing efforts.
  • UWLs are responsible for planning, producing and stewarding their sites.
  • UWLs are responsible for the integrity of the content.
    • assign ownership and accountability for content
    • empower the owner to publish the information on a defined schedule
    • coordinate content development to leverage and share content within the unit and university-wide (The new CMS technology makes it much easier to publish and edit content one time and have it automatically appear everywhere we need.)
    • are responsible for staying on top of relevant operational communications, new site features and for representing the unit in the UB Communicators Network
  • UWLs produce and manage authoritative shared content under the coordination of University Communications (UC).

Planning Roles

Unit Stakeholders

  • Stakeholders are key decision makers and are directly affected by the performance of the site.
  • They can be part of the unit, or are directly affected by the unit’s performance.
  • Stakeholders are interviewed to help establish a framework for the business case. 
  • Stakeholder interviews align expectations by using a common structure and identifying problems.

Strategist

  • Strategist planner or communications leader should be someone who understands your department.
  • The strategic planner is influential within the department, as well as the university community, and provides the department with the support needed to complete discovery.
  • The strategic planner guides the stakeholder selection process.
  • The strategist reviews the interviews for common themes or problems that need to be discussed, resolved or affirmed as a group.
  • These themes inform the site objectives, key messages and measurements used to define success.

Content Development Roles

Publisher

  • gives final approval of content and makes it visible

Editor

  • edits content (first level of approval)
    • copyedits for style and tone
    • reviews to incorporate key messages (words, images and multimedia)
    • migrates content into the UBCMS system (if it is not there already)

Author

  • creates content (words, images and multimedia)
  • “owns” informational pages within the site
  • serves as point person for:
    • calendar entries
    • faculty/staff profiles (encouraging people to keep them up to date)
    • news and announcements

Specialist Roles

Developer (optional)

  • has a higher-level technological skill set for more complex site setup needs
  • can work with Computing and Information Technology (CIT) to integrate complex programming from third-party sources through embedding

Content Stewardship Roles

Site Manager

  • responsible for planning, producing and stewarding the site
  • responsible for creating and maintaining content (editorial, visual, multimedia)
  • site managers can be authors, subject matter experts (SMEs), editors and approvers

Strategist

  • reviews site performance
  • assesses whether goals are being met (reviews site performance and metrics against success measurements)
  • suggests changes, which may trigger the development of new content or site revisions (or gets consultation)

Content Owner

  • reviews content on regular basis
  • publishes updates on a defined schedule
  • proactively updates content as major changes occur
  • content includes
    • website informational pages
    • calendar entries
    • faculty/staff profiles (encouraging people to keep them up to date)
    • news and announcements

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