A good content strategist brings copywriting, IA, design, and other critical skills to your organization. She will have an encyclopedic knowledge of your website, your marketing/communications in other arenas (print, bulletin boards, social media), your departments, et cetera. She’ll keep her eyes and ears open to every bit of information about your school.
Her job is to identify and act on opportunities for your school
She’ll synthesize all that information at the right time to a deliverable.
Content strategy is a full time job. Don’t try to saddle your writer with content strategy: he needs to focus his efforts on his craft, which is also a full time job. Don’t ask someone who’s not completely enthused to do the job. It’s hard work: you have to go out and dig for information. You have to talk to people all across the campus. You have to be in meetings. This is not a job for the person who wants to sit in his office.
What about my “webmaster”?
It pains me to put this in writing, but many of the webmaster positions I’ve seen are “put-er-up-ers”. In so many cases, the webmaster position started in the IT department and it’s been a glorified gatekeeper. Some of my colleagues have clawed their way out of this definition (and kudos to them!) but, by and large, the position is still defined by “put this up on the web.”
Content strategy extends beyond the web
Content strategy is communication strategy. Not just web and print, but communication at all levels: email, interpersonal, organizational. A good content strategist will push to change and improve communication throughout the entire organization. After all, what good is the best website if you have a department chair or secretary who’s just going to screw the pooch for you?
Do you really want a camel?
If you need a horse, why do you keep relying on processes that result in camels? You need to put your content strategy, your communication strategy, in the hands of one person. If your aim is mediocrity, then, by all means, let a committee do the work.