; Web Content Management Futures
Learning Center
Plans & pricing Sign in
Sign Out
Your Federal Quarterly Tax Payments are due April 15th Get Help Now >>

Web Content Management Futures


  • pg 1
									                                                    Salford City Council
                                                                      VERSION 1.0

Salford’s Intranet and Internet web sites have evolved to provide a credible and
professional information resource for their respective user communities. There is
considerable scope for enhancing both sites to deliver both interesting and
interactive user experiences.

This paper scopes what I believe Salford City Council needs to do to develop our
online services into useful information resources in terms of technology
deployment and changes in working practices, and invites input from other
business areas on the proposals made.

                                                                    John Fox
                                                Corporate Web Content Manager
                                                            Customer Services
                                                            23rd January 2002

This document recommends that Salford City Council should:

1. Implement a devolved web publishing solution to enable directorates to create
   and maintain their own web content on the salford.gov.uk domain.
2. Implement a two-stage design strategy for both Intranet and Internet web
3. Provide managed Internet access for all members of staff.
4. Implement a protocol governing the use and application of e-mail facilities.
5. Define and communicate terminology to be used by staff and members when
   referring to the Intranet and Internet web sites.
6. Implement online content plans to address key end user information needs.
7. Promote the services available to the community on the Internet web site.
8. Mandate key criteria within the new Corporate Communications Strategy to
   recognise the contribution that online information resources can make to
   deliver the Council’s six key pledges to the community.
9. Establish a web management team to assume an advisory and bureau
   service for the Council’s directorates and elected members.
             Web Content and Online Communications Review

 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ___________________________________________________ 1
 PRESENT SITUATION _____________________________________________________ 3
   Intranet site _____________________________________________________________________ 3
      Enthusiasm for Change __________________________________________________________ 3
      Look-and-Feel _________________________________________________________________ 3
   Internet web site __________________________________________________________________ 4
      Timeliness, Validity of Content ___________________________________________________ 4
      Enthusiasm for Change __________________________________________________________ 5
      Look-and-Feel _________________________________________________________________ 5
   Internet Access ___________________________________________________________________ 5
   Global E-mails ___________________________________________________________________ 6
   E-mail and Internet Usage Policy ____________________________________________________ 6
   Terminology for online services _____________________________________________________ 7
 WEB PUBLISHING ________________________________________________________ 8
   Present situation __________________________________________________________________ 8
   The vision ______________________________________________________________________ 8
      Devolving ownership to directorates _______________________________________________ 10
      Authoring strategy _____________________________________________________________ 11
      Organisational impact __________________________________________________________ 11
      Human resources ______________________________________________________________ 12
      Financial investment ___________________________________________________________ 12
 WEB DESIGN ____________________________________________________________ 14
   Intranet ________________________________________________________________________ 14
      Encourage user buy-in and regular usage ___________________________________________ 14
      Design Strategy _______________________________________________________________ 15
   Internet web site _________________________________________________________________ 15
      Corporate Identity _____________________________________________________________ 15
      Design Strategy _______________________________________________________________ 16
 REVIEW OF SITE CONTENT ______________________________________________ 17
   SOLAR _______________________________________________________________________ 17
 SITE CONTENT PLANS ___________________________________________________ 18
 INTERNET WEB SITE ________________________________________________________ 18
 INTRANET ________________________________________________________________ 18
 E-MAIL AND INTERNET USAGE STRATEGY _______________________________ 20
   E-mail Protocol _________________________________________________________________ 20
   Access to the Internet for All Staff __________________________________________________ 20
 MARKETING PLAN ______________________________________________________ 22
 CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGY _____________________________ 22
 Appendix 1 _______________________________________________________________ 24
   Secondary content plan for salford.gov.uk ____________________________________________ 24
 Appendix 2 _______________________________________________________________ 26
   Additional background resources ____________________________________________________ 26

              Web Content and Online Communications Review

              Internet web site
              Internet Access
              E-mail Usage
              E-mail and Internet Usage Policy

The Intranet is currently available to staff in the Civic Centre and immediate
satellite offices such as Minerva House. Approximately 2,500 Council staff have
access to the Intranet (of which some 1,200 are able to access the Internet).

The quality, breadth and depth of Intranet content is generally good, though
quantity varies between individual directorates. According to the site user
statistics, most users appear to only use the Intranet to look up internal telephone
numbers, to access the staff noticeboard and to read the jobs bulletin.

Enthusiasm for Change
There is widespread enthusiasm for further development of the Intranet to
provide a business-relevant and staff-friendly information resource but this is
currently hampered by a lack of self-governance for individual directorates. In
short, there is too much reliance on IT Services to collate and publish content.

Web publishing is the biggest issue for the future development of the Intranet.
Devolved web publishing needs to be introduced as soon as possible

There is no logical site design, no corporate identity common to all pages. Whilst
some are branded strongly with careful use of graphics, many are top heavy
graphically, and still others have only plain text and minimal site navigation.

The Intranet lacks consistent navigation – for example, sets of pages are
published but there is no straightforward means of moving forward or backward
within a set of documents, or indeed sometimes even to return to the Intranet
home page.

The overall look-and-feel of the Intranet needs to be addressed. There should be
a minimal corporate identity. It is vital that the Intranet has an identity that is
substantially different to the Internet web site and, in order to encourage staff
take up of the service, the look-and-feel should have a fun element, at least to
begin with. This will also assist staff who have regular contact with members of
the public to differentiate between internal and external information

              Web Content and Online Communications Review

These comments are based on the Internet site design in use until 21st December 2001
when a revised home page and a new site A-Z Site Index were introduced to improve site

The content, design and depth of information available on the web site is
altogether much better than the Intranet. This is only to be expected, but much
needs to be done to develop the site into a useful information resource for the
community, and as a self-promotion tool for the city as a whole.

Unhelpfully, navigation of the site is reliant upon the user understanding the
directorate structure of the Council, which is an unreasonable presumption to
make. For this reason some very good content on site has been difficult, if not
impossible, to pinpoint – for example “history of Salford”.

Timeliness, Validity of Content
There are examples of information having been published on the Internet site
which are now clearly out of date, for example, the A-Z of Council Services.

This highlights the problem of only one department being responsible for the
maintenance of site content. All content needs to be reviewed and where
appropriate either updated or deleted.

Some pages on the web site are very cumbersome and over long. There is at
least one example of a web page which, when printed out on paper, uses nine
A4 pages.

There are a number of alternative web sites that have been developed by the
Council – for example oninsalford.com, visitsalford.com and chapelstreet.org.uk.
I understand that these have been developed for a number of reasons but
ultimately each site detracts from the overall value to the community of the
principal salford.gov.uk web site.

Each new web site created serves to dilute the perceived value of the
salford.gov.uk web site to the community, because we are spreading the breadth
of content/services available across numerous sites, instead of focussing on a
one-stop shop delivery channel.

Since it is now impossible to reverse this process we should concentrate upon
developing the principal web site such that it becomes a recognised and useful
information resource for the community. There is no reason why the separate
web sites should not be incorporated into the principal site over time.

The new corporate communications strategy (due end March 2002) must include
our recommendations on the use of separate web domain names and provide
guidance to directorates, both of which are discussed later in this document.

              Web Content and Online Communications Review

Enthusiasm for Change
In common with the Intranet site there is widespread enthusiasm for the
development of the web site into a truly useful community information resource
but this is currently not possible because self-maintenance by individual
departments is not available. In short, there is 100% reliance on IT Services to
collate and publish – and maintain - content.

Web publishing is thus the biggest issue for the future development of the web
site. Devolved web publishing (“content management”) needs to be introduced
as soon as possible.

The current design is actually quite good, but the black background is
depressing, the burnt red navigation bar is quite sombre and hyperlinks are not
underlined. Site navigation is loose and inconsistent.

Our principal Internet web site must carry a strong corporate identity, whilst
recognising the diverse needs of different directorates and target audiences. It
is vital that the web site presents a strong, coherent identity that reflects the City
Council. This assists staff who have regular contact with members of the public,
helping them to differentiate between external and internal (Intranet) online

Not all staff have Internet access. There appear to various reasons for this,
some historical, some financial and some possibly based upon a lack of
understanding by senior management of tools that are available to effectively
manage Internet access by staff.

Providing Internet access to our staff enables them to utilise numerous
information resources in the public domain which are either difficult or costly to
access via normal channels – for example, information from central government
departments, other local authorities, online directory enquiries (significant cost
saving potential), postcode lookup, environmental hazard audit searching, Land
Registry, etc.

All web content available to City Council users is controlled by a product called
Websense, which is maintained by IT Data Communications. Websense can
limit Internet access, and - provided that appropriate policy guidance is in place
to support employee Internet management - there should be no call for alarm by
senior management. However, Websense needs to be administered more
effectively than at present – this is discussed in more detail later.

              Web Content and Online Communications Review

There are almost daily examples of inappropriate “global” mail messages being
sent to all users in the organisation. Whilst the number of users permitted to do
this is fairly restricted, content of such messages should be published on the
Intranet not sent by e-mail.

There is a Policy in place, which was revised in summer 2000. The document
does not, though, take account of recent Human Rights legislation and needs to
be revisited.

              Web Content and Online Communications Review

Anecdotal evidence suggests that individuals get confused between the
differences between “Intranet” and “Internet” or between “web sites” and “web
pages”. Mention “Intranet” to someone and they are likely to assume that you’re
speaking about the web site, and vice versa.

To counter this, one needs to devise a name for either one or both services. We
should hold an internal competition to get suggestions for a name for the Intranet,
and perhaps use “SalfordWeb” for the web site (also consider registering the
selected name as a trademark).

Further, and to stimulate a sense of corporate togetherness and ownership, it is
important to educate users, publishers and senior management/members to the
concept of a single web site for the organisation.

The easiest way to achieve this is to determine that salford.gov.uk is “the web
site” and individual directorate’s mini-web sites are either “collections of web
pages” or “information collections” or some other euphemism.

It is the expression “web site” that is most misleading and must be avoided if at
all possible. Far better to tell someone to “look at Environment’s web pages”
than “look at Environment’s web site”.

Recommended: define and communicate terminology to be used by all staff and
elected members.

              Web Content and Online Communications Review

Web publishing is the key to the ultimate future success of our Intranet and
Internet web sites.

              Present situation
              The vision
              Devolving ownership to directorates
              Authoring strategy
              Organisational impact
              Human resources
              Financial investment

Content is created by originating users and given to IT Services by e-mail, floppy
disk or on paper. The text is transferred to Microsoft FrontPage and thence
published to the Intranet or web site as applicable. Individual business areas do
not have the ability to publish direct to either site.

Specifically, for the web content published is added to a FrontPage template that
follows the web site’s look-and-feel and an appropriate navigation bar is added to
the left column of each page.

On the Intranet, new content is published using FrontPage but no definitive page
template or look-and-feel is applied. There are many instances on the Intranet of
pages that carry only a City Council logo and a link back to the home page.
There are other examples where a completely different identity is given to the
content – which, whilst far from unacceptable, indicates a lack of coherent
publishing strategy.

The amendment of content on each site requires the relevant page to be re-
loaded to the appropriate online service by IT Services. There is thus a
requirement for the originating department to contact IT and for IT to undertake
the amendment activity.

The limited publication process is further complicated by a requirement to use a
single computer located in the R&D area as a result of restrictions imposed by IT
Data Comms.

It is proposed that we implement a process whereby nominated users in
individual directorates are able to publish direct to either the Intranet or web site

              Web Content and Online Communications Review

from their own desktop using Microsoft Office. This can be achieved by utilising
the pre-existing networked drive/file service in conjunction with a proprietary off-
the-shelf web publishing application such as Transit Central™. Microsoft’s
FrontPage is not suitable for a devolved web publishing deployment.

Transit Central (TC) enables an administrator to set up templates that recognise
the characteristics of, for example, a Word document. TC then publishes the
same Word document (after automatic formatting as a web page) to an Intranet
or web site (or both) wrapping a “corporate” look-and-feel around the new page.
Differing levels of automation and tailoring are possible.

One of the key benefits of Transit Central is the fact that authors continue to
create content using familiar tools. Documents created in standard business
formats such as Microsoft Office are the source material for the site. Although
authored for print use, TC is able to optimise these documents for online use.
This is known as single-source publishing.

With single-source publishing one original document is the governing authority
but it can have many “looks” and purposes in an organisation. TC can be used
to repurpose the content for each audience (eg Intranet and Internet) and use.
Single-source publishing is a very different approach from models where authors
creating a document are responsible for anticipating a web look, storing multiple
sources and converting to or “saving as HTML”.

Manual conversion of content to HTML is not only tedious but creates a
fundamental content management problem. The hand-tweaked HTML version
tends to become a separate source document rather than simply a rendition of
the original. Each change in content made by the author needs to be re-
implemented in the HTML version, and for minor changes the effort may not
seem worth it. It’s easy for web content to quickly become out of date and out-of-
sync with the authored source. Furthermore, when documents are added using
this process, navigation links to next and previous pages, and from reference
documents such as tables of contents must be manually updated. Transit
Central eliminates the costs associated with manual updates.

The philosophy behind TC is that content should be maintained from a single
source, that is, in the authored format, regardless of the form of output. Then
changes in the content need only be made once – by the author – allowing more
timely updates of the web-published version and clarifying “ownership” of the
content accuracy. Print and web versions of the content stay in sync. Moreover
this shifts the burden of web publishing away from the present web team
bottleneck and back to the authors. But the shift is subtle. Authors are
completely shielded from HTML and continue to work in their standard editing

              Web Content and Online Communications Review

TC repurposes content for online use. Customisable templates provide an
administrator with:

 Complete control over font sizes and colours, paragraph formatting,
  navigational constructs and buttons, and the inclusion or suppression of
 The opportunity to transform and optimise content for on-screen delivery in
  standard browsers.
 The ability to chop information into screen-size chunks (useful for large
  procedural manuals, for example).
 A consistent look-and-feel of related web pages.
 Multiple web presentations of the same original document for different
  audiences, or to provide unique layouts for viewing and printing.
 A fast and easy way to maintain navigational links, tables of contents, and
  indexes when source documents are updated.
 An easy and painless way to update web pages, so they remain in sync with
  source documents.

The administrator sets up an individual author and allocates a directory on
networked drive where documents for publication can be placed. TC, working
rather like a sausage machine, picks up the raw material periodically, and pushes
out at the other end a web page that mirrors the source document (including
images) but formatted for the web and with site navigation and design added
automatically. The page is published to the site and placed in an identical
directory. This means that the author can set up multiple web pages, all linked
together, in advance of publication, and without any reference to the

Devolving ownership to directorates
Implementing a web publishing solution such as Transit Central will provide
individual directorates with the ability to own and publish their web content –
whether for the Intranet or for the web site. Appendix 2 contains links to two
collections of web pages produced by a local authority using Transit Central.

Overall site management (site design, navigation, etc) is managed centrally by
an administrator. The simplicity of the process must be paramount – for both
author and administrator.

Thus this process will allow IT Services to concentrate upon developing
interactive web applications for use on either online service, and the content
manager and his team to manage overall site content management, maintain
high level site navigation and other strategic corporate web-related projects.

              Web Content and Online Communications Review

Authoring strategy
A staged rollout is preferred. We should to start developing new content using
the tool with several carefully selected pilot users such as the Press Office,
Social Services and Council Tax, in addition to high-level navigation, etc.

Working with one or two business areas to enhance the publishing environment
is important for all parties: this encourages the individual area to take advantage
of their trailblazer role, and generates a wealth of user-publishing experience
than can be cascaded to new authors as the rollout progresses.

Leading by example, publishing good (and different) content will lead other
directorates and potential authors to come on board. The new authors will learn
much from the best practice guidelines established by the trailblazers and, by the
time they’re allowed to publish themselves new authors will be keen to compete.

This model works equally well for both Intranet and web site, though the web site
content will need to be more carefully planned and co-ordinated in liaison with
the web content manager.

Organisational impact
As British society becomes increasingly web-orientated, a government not on the
web will become less and less visible, and its central position in social networks
will decline. If government becomes less prominent in society’s information
networks it will have to rely instead on the much more expensive tools of
authority, finance and government organisation to accomplish tasks.

Because of the demand for government information and services over the web,
we need an affordable web publishing solution that can be deployed quickly and
doesn’t require a large implementation programme.

Well-established local government web sites become a repository for local
information and it is not unusual for a site to have in excess of 10 or 20,000 web
pages. Hampshire County Council’s web site has over 750,000 web pages,
many of which are directly sourced from a 5,000,000 page Intranet.

The City Council’s existing IT resource arrangements for day-to-day content
management simply couldn’t support the sheer volume of content that could be
generated by directorates just to meet central Government targets.

Culture Change
An organisational cultural change is required to encourage individual directorates
to take ownership of their own web content, rather than to delegate responsibility
to IT Services. Devolving web publishing will help the directorates to address the
challenges of meeting the target of 100% electronically-enabled services by
2005, to keep published content fresh, easy to manage and easy to retrieve, and
to continually innovate with new content to address current business challenges.

              Web Content and Online Communications Review

The Intranet will expand our ability to make a range of business information more
accessible to staff and allow costs to be cut, efficiency improved. Key
applications could include human resources (employee self-service), cutting
administrative costs, providing a front-end for databases and other transactional
applications, and for providing internal access to the organisation’s web sites.

Each directorate thus makes service information as accessible as possible in
order for the citizen to make good, informed decisions.

Internally, both Intranet and web site will provide a rich resource of current and
archived material which is readily accessible to users.

Human resources
Individuals in directorates will need to be identified who can assume the role of
publishing author as an adjunct to their existing role. In certain areas it may be
desirable to have a dedicated resource, for example Social Services.

The simplicity of the publishing process will mean that a minimum technical skill
level will be required and this can be reflected in the grade of staff members
involved. However, careful consideration must be given to individual author

It is important that the contributions that authors make to a directorate’s
communications’ channels via their web pages are properly recognised. The role
and responsibilities involved should be reflected in the staff member’s job
description and taken into account at annual performance reviews.

The precise operating conditions would need to be defined and agreed prior to
rollout. For example, some departments may wish to adopt a workflow process
where content must be sanctioned by a supervisor (an “editor”) before it can be
published online.

Financial investment
The cost of web publishing solutions varies enormously. Subject to confirmation
that the existing hardware and network infrastructure is adequate, the solution
proposed – Transit Central – can be deployed for £9,500 including set up
consultancy costs.

The cost of implementing the web publishing solution should be measured
against the potential cost savings that can be made by making information
available via the Intranet or Internet. Substantial cost savings can be made by
encouraging citizens and enterprises to seek information and conduct dealings
with us in lower-cost ways. Once web provision has been made, the marginal
cost of someone accessing our web site is virtually zero, while the marginal cost

              Web Content and Online Communications Review

of handling letters, answering telephone calls or front office visits are

Web technologies generally involve modest investment outlays in relation to
other administrative costs which they can displace. They also lend themselves to
an evolutionary “build and learn” approach, where the risk of large-scale
mistakes apparent in some public sector IT projects is greatly reduced.

Recommended: implement web publishing solution, adopt authoring strategy

              Web Content and Online Communications Review

              Internet web site

The look-and-feel of the Intranet site needs to be distinctively different from the
Internet web site. This aids user recognition of whether or not information viewed
via the browser is in the public domain.

Encourage user buy-in and regular usage
Since there is little usage of the Intranet other than the noticeboard, phone book
and jobs bulletin at the present time, an effort needs to be made at promoting
use of the Intranet by staff members. This could be partially achieved by
implementing a “fun” look-and-feel design accompanied by an image gallery of
complementary images and icons that can be used by directorate publishers on
their own pages.

Consideration could also be given to publishing a syndicated daily cartoon
feature. This would involve a subscription cost but it would encourage users to
log on to the Intranet each day.

Although expensive at $250 per month, the Dilbert cartoon strip serves a double
purpose – a light touch to start the day plus an underlying management or
training message. Other, probably cheaper, syndicated cartoons are available.
Over time, the cartoon could be dropped altogether.

In order to accommodate variations in content between directorates, the design
of the Intranet needs to be quite simple. A standard navigation banner at the top
of the page and management information at the foot of the page would suffice.
Colour coding to denote individual directorates or subject matters might be

              Web Content and Online Communications Review

Within a corporate look-and-feel design framework, directorates must be allowed
to determine their individual Intranet identities. A sense of friendly rivalry
between individual publishers and directorates will ultimately encourage a
stimulating Intranet site with variations in designs and presentations, one
publisher always trying to outdo another!

Design Strategy
A two-stage design strategy is proposed. To get initial buy-in and user take up,
the site designs needs to be relaxed and fun. Thereafter, it will probably be
desirable to make the look-and-feel rather more business-like, possibly retaining
some of the original “fun” images for continuity.

Recommended: adopt fun then business-like design strategy proposed

Guidelines from the Office of the E-Envoy are expected to be issued during 2002
that will lay down the rules for the design of local government web sites.

Corporate Identity
The look-and-feel of the Internet web site is, and must remain, very corporate.
The identity must reflect the corporate identity and signage of the City Council so
that the web site becomes an extension of existing information and service
channels of the authority.

In order to accommodate variations in content between directorates, the design
of the Intranet needs to be quite simple. A standard navigation banner at the top
of the page and management information at the foot of the page would suffice.

Within a corporate look-and-feel design framework – which must be endorsed at
a high level (preferably the Chief Executive and/or the Leader) – directorates
should be allowed to determine their own web identity, perhaps by use of colour
coding or a distinctive style for each of their pages. The result must be that the
web visitor recognises that they are visiting the web site of Salford City Council
regardless of the type of information they are viewing or where on the web site
they may be.

Standards for presentation of information on the Internet will be published and
must be followed. The web content manager acts as adviser and enforcer on the
standards on behalf of the Chief Executive.

It is thought probable that the central Government guidelines will encourage (if
not insist) that all local authorities adopt a site design akin to ukonline.gov.uk –
but opinion about this concept at local authority level differs considerably. There
is a strong case for local authorities to maintain their own local identity, and the
guidelines are expected to be contested strongly.

             Web Content and Online Communications Review

The web site published by Camden Council – which is taking an active role in the
local government web site design guideline consultation – currently bears no
resemblance at all to UK Online. It has a clear Camden-corporate identity.

Design Strategy
It is proposed that a two-stage design strategy be followed. Firstly a cosmetic
modification to the existing design is implemented taking account of the need to
freshen the site, improve navigation and make general site content more
accessible. Once central Government guidance on the issue is clearer a more
general site design change can be planned and implemented, most likely one
that complements the UK Online site but with a Salford identity.

Recommended: adopt proposed design strategy – cosmetic modification, then
full site redesign

              Web Content and Online Communications Review

              Review Site Content

A high level review of site content on both Intranet and Internet sites was
undertaken in December. This resulted in a quick-fix change to the Internet site
home page and the addition of an A-Z Index to aid user navigation. The content
review revealed a quite extraordinary depth of information published on the web
site that was difficult to locate easily. The validity of much information, especially
the A-Z of Council Services, was highly questionable too.

On the Intranet, the content review highlighted that individual directorates were
publishing information that they felt served a communications purpose for their
own staff – eg departmental newsletters. In consequence much of the
information on the Intranet provided by directorates is really only of interest to
their own directorate and of little real value to the rest of the organisation.

All site content (both Intranet and Internet) must be reviewed by directorates,
prior to implementation of a new web publishing tool, working with the web
content manager. The imminent implementation of the tool will provide
opportunities for substantial revisions or enhancements to directorate web
content. In the interim, ongoing site content reviews will be conducted with
individual directorates.

Both sites would benefit from having content from the SOLAR system that has
been developed in isolation on an ORACLE platform.

SOLAR’s content should be made available – as a priority – to web site users.
Improvements in the creation and management of SOLAR content (including
publisher training) must be urgently considered. Consideration should also be
given to changing the look-and-feel of SOLAR complement the Internet web site.

It may well be feasible to integrate SOLAR and Transit Central content. Detailed
investigation would be required.

              Web Content and Online Communications Review


A site content plan should be agreed that would determine the priorities for
published information on the web site. It is important that web development
activity is linked to Pathfinder and IEG Plans, plus the shadow BPR programme.

However, I recommend that the primary plan should include key information on:

   A-Z of Council Services with links to complementary information on the site
   Commonwealth Games and Salford
   Education (schools, lifelong learning)
   Economic Development and Regeneration
   Social Services
   Life Scenarios
   Council Tax including annual budget details
   Benefits Advice
   Press Releases
   Annual Performance Indicators
   Housing
   Public Notices (including planning and decision notices, tender invitations)
   Contacting the Council – addresses, phone numbers, “how to find us”
   Awards and Accolades given to the City Council.
   Other Salford web sites

Investigations should also be made for implementing an effective search facility
for the site.

An outline secondary content plan is attached at Appendix 1.

Site content plans for the Intranet can be evolved once the position with regard to
web publishing is determined and in conjunction with corporate and individual
directorates’ business objectives.

The Intranet, as well as being a primary business communications and
information resource should be seen as an opportunity to assist employees gain
access to internal transactional applications including, over time, employee self-
service (e.g., leave booking, online expense claims, sickness recording, flex time

Much will depend on the method of publication deployed, but key areas for
consideration include:

   Improvements to telephone directory

              Web Content and Online Communications Review

   Improvements to Noticeboard service (already in discussion)
   Organisation Charts – who does what, who’s who
   Job Bulletins
   Contact Centre information services
   Technology how-to user advice and self-help guidance
   Employee self-service
   Intranet news service (internal and external news)

              Web Content and Online Communications Review


An e-mail protocol is recommended.

Current arrangements regarding the use (and purpose) of e-mail should be
reviewed, particularly with regard to “global” messages. E-mail has an important
role to play in promoting internal communications and there will always be
appropriate circumstances where sending a global e-mail message is

As part of the Corporate Communications strategy on internal communications,
the ability to distribute global e-mails must be limited to a handful of key people
(recommended: IT Helpdesk, Data Comms, Web Manager, Communications &
Public Relations Manager only). Message content must be restricted to urgent
messages (eg system downtime, strategic announcements by Directors).

The preferred means of day to day communication must be the Intranet, with
appropriate facilities provided to enable users to communicate less important
issues amongst colleagues. An Intranet news service – currently under
investigation - would facilitate this arrangement.

E-mail and Intranet communications each have their own strengths. E-mail is,
essentially, a “push” technology where the message is pushed (delivered) direct
to each intended recipient. The Intranet, on the other hand, is “pull”, where users
access the information at their own discretion – and thus is not ideal as a
communications medium where there is a need to communicate simultaneously
– or urgently – with a large number of users.

An e-mail protocol should also include guidance for staff on AutoSignatures.
AutoSignatures convey information about a message's sender, such as a return
email address, job title/department, telephone and fax numbers, and often
(recommended) an organisation’s web site address. Adding small amounts of
text doesn't occupy much space; however, when users insert images into
AutoSignatures, the file size can get out of hand.

There are many examples today of people sending messages both internally and
externally without any AutoSignature. Staff must be given guidance on what
information must - and must not - be included on their (eg font type/size, use of
images, web or Intranet site address, correct postal address including postcode,
and contact telephone number).

The Modernising Local Government agenda means that we need to encourage
our staff to get comfortable not only with technology but also the facilities

              Web Content and Online Communications Review

available to the citizen. Our staff are our best ambassadors for promoting e-
Government and Salford City Council’s online services.

All staff should be allowed to have access to the wealth of resources available on
the Internet. Web development generally can be hampered by staff not having
Internet access – particularly by not being able to see their own organisation’s
web sites while at work.

A product called Websense controls all web access for City Council users. This
is a proprietary product, currently administered and managed by IT Data
Communications, that filters inappropriate web sites according to criteria set by a
local administrator. Websense provides the ability to give differing levels of
Internet access to different types of user – even at different times of the day.
Provided that effective Internet usage policies are in place, all staff can have
Internet access and local managers’ concerns about potential abuse assuaged.

At the very minimum all staff should be allowed to access all authorised Salford
City Council web sites – and preferably all local and central government web

As employees work longer hours, the Internet offers a convenient way to
accomplish personal tasks during the work day. While workers value employers
placing limits on personal web use, they also appreciate the flexibility to access
appropriate sites for reasonable amounts of time. Flexible Internet management
– achieved through fair Internet access policies and balanced filtering solutions
such as Websense – enables organisations to manage professional vs. personal
employee web use.

Day to day administration of Websense needs clarification.

Recommended: restrict global e-mail capabilities severely, adopt an e-mail
protocol, and provide managed Internet access for all staff, possibly administered
by the web content manager

              Web Content and Online Communications Review

There has been minimal promotion of the Internet web site in the past. A
marketing plan is desirable to promote the web site. Any marketing plan must,
though, take account of developments taking place on the web site, either new
information collections or a site redesign. Further, it must be consistent with, and
supported by, the corporate communications strategy.

Directorates must be encouraged to publish their web site address on any
promotional materials produced in print, and press releases should carry the
addresses of web pages relevant to the story context.

A promotional leaflet or give-away to promote the web site should be produced.
A leaflet would demonstrate what the site can do for the individual. There is little
point in doing this, however, until site content and navigation has been improved.
We can then use the opportunity to demonstrate yet more evidence of Salford’s
e-Government online objectives being delivered for the ultimate benefit of the
citizen by proactively promoting the web site.

Further initiatives, such as a regular column or feature in Salford People, should
be considered as the web site develops into a truly useful community information

Recommended: encourage directorates to publish their web site addresses,
produce printed promotional material when appropriate to do so, explore other
opportunities for web site promotion.

The embryonic strategy must recognise the contribution to internal and external
communications that the Intranet and web sites can respectively make. The
strategy should mandate:

 That all printed documents for the public domain must carry salford.gov.uk
  web site address, regardless of directorate.

 That all official publications produced in print should appear on the web site
  as navigable web pages, conforming to the corporate identity guidelines. In
  the short term, a PDF document would suffice but this should only be
  regarded as a quick-fix solution.

 That new web content should, unless exceptional circumstances apply, be
  published only on the salford.gov.uk web domain and in accordance with (to
  be) published information standards. Exceptions to be agreed on a case-by-

             Web Content and Online Communications Review

   case basis with the web content manager in consultation with the Chief

 That authorised Salford City Council web sites that do not reside on the
  salford.gov.uk domain are permitted to follow their own style and identity.
  However all sites must carry City Council branding which incorporates a
  hyperlink to the main salford.gov.uk home page. This mandate should be
  applied retrospectively to existing web sites.

Recommended: the proposed conditions be included in the new Corporate
Communications Strategy.

The Intranet and web sites have been developed and were managed on a day to
day basis by the IT Research & Development team under David Hunter.

Following my appointment as web content manager in November 2001 day-to-
day management of the sites has passed to me, with updates to the site being
undertaken by members of David’s team as required.

We jointly propose that two members of David’s team should be seconded to me
for a period of six months to form the “corporate web team” within Customer
Services. The team would have responsibility for day to day management of the
Intranet and web sites, supporting authors and editors (including training where
required), maintenance of top level navigation web pages, site design and
undertaking significant web projects such as members’ pages, consultative
documents, etc.

The team members would work actively with all areas of the authority to generate
new content ideas for both sites, assuming a corporate advisory role as required.

Strategic IT activities including the wider e-Government agenda and
infrastructure developments – plus additional web content support where
required - would continue to be resourced and managed by David Hunter.

The manpower resource should be re-examined after six months to establish
what more permanent arrangements are desirable in the light of experience and
web publishing developments.

Recommended: Establish a corporate web team - initially upon secondment - to
assume an advisory and bureau service for the Council’s directorates and
elected members. Review after six months.

              Web Content and Online Communications Review


Art & Culture
[Awards & Accolades]
[A-Z of Council Services]
Best Value
Can I see the file? Right of access to Council information
Children – including Childcare Provision
Churches and Religion
[Commonwealth Games]
Community Organisations
Community Plan
Complaints: how we deal with them
Council Business – minutes, agendas (SOLAR)
[Council Tax]
Country Parks
Crime and Disorder Strategy
[Directions/Location Map]
Disability Information
Economic Development
Election and By-Election Results
Emergency Planning
Equal Opportunities
Fire & Rescue Service
Frequently Asked Questions
Health & Care
Highways: roads including planned roadworks and gritting
History of Salford City Council (and its predecessors)
How do I find what I’m looking for? [how to use this web site]
Inward Investment
Job Vacancies (including an online application form)
Landscape Design
Library Services
[Life Scenarios]
[Lifelong Learning]
Links to other web sites
Local Employers
Local Partnerships
Moving to Salford
Museums & Galleries

             Web Content and Online Communications Review

Parks & Gardens
[Press Releases]
[Public Notices]
Public Transport
Regeneration Projects
Registrar Services (Births, Marriages and Deaths)
Road Safety
Role of the City Councillor
Salford City Council: how it works
Salford Placenames and their meanings
Salford Quays
School web sites
Site Feedback Form
Social Inclusion
Social Services
Strategic Partnerships
Street Lighting
The Lowry
The Mayor
Trading Standards
Travelling to Salford (including Where is Salford? with map)
Visitor Attractions
Waste Collection
Waste Recycling
Web Links
Web Standards
[What’s New?]
[Who to contact]
Working in Salford
Youth Service

Items in parentheses “[ ]” have already been created

              Web Content and Online Communications Review


Websense Employee Internet Management

Transit Central

Reference web pages created using Transit Central

Hampshire County Council – Best Value
(all pages below home page produced using TC)

Hampshire County Council – Budget 2001/02
(online version of printed budget leaflet enclosed with all district councils’ Council
Tax bills in March 2001)


To top