Before creating any type of content you need to be sure that it will be fit for purpose. This applies to all kinds: images, videos, audio files, podcasts, documents or text.
Start by researching your audience and the channel or platform you will publish on. Check that what you are planning will meet the needs of your audience and the platform requirements.
All content needs to meet some minimum standards, it should be safe, effective and person-centred, just like our care:
Anyone appearing in any format must have signed a consent form. The form must give explicit consent for their data to be used in the way intended. They could be a face, voice, named person or data point. This is true whether for the public website or for internal or training purposes. This applies to everyone, patients, staff and other members of the public. The consent form must be retained securely.
Patient data must never appear. Create, or mock up, dummy records if needed. Computer screens, whiteboards, notes, should be off, covered or excluded from videos and photos.
PDFs must be in in an accessible format, it's a legal requirement. The language attribute is commonly overlooked. Adobe provides help menus and tools to achieve this. You can learn how to check and fix your PDF here.
Images must have 'alt' tags or descriptions. Make sure you know how to use Umbraco and the tools in Facebook and Twitter to do this. Users of screen reading technology will then be able to access this content. Never put key information (such as a phone number) in an image without providing a caption, alt text or description. What you need to know about images is here.
Video - at least 8 out of 10 times all users play video on silent. Without subtitles your sparkling dialogue is lost. You must include subtitles, or provide an .SRT file to create them. Subtitles help everyone to enjoy our videos. What you need to know for video is here.
If you are using content from elsewhere, such as images, be sure that you have the rights to use it. Especially images, film and music, but consider presentations and posters too. To find out more about copyright and the training available please contact library staff via [email protected]
Accuracy. Make sure information is up to date and correct, whether an address, phone number or clinical guidance.
Spell check! Everybody gets it wrong sometimes. We use NHSGGC. Not NHS GGC or NHSGG&C.
Tools such as http://hemingwayapp.com/ will help you to write clearly for a general audience. Do you know whether your writing style is hard to read? Is it appropriate for your intended readers? Keep it straightforward.
Use inclusive language. Know how the people you are addressing like to describe themselves, and if there are descriptions that are not suitable. Be professional, stay warm and human.
Over 6 in 10 of our web users are on mobiles and this number is climbing. Whatever your content is, make sure it works on mobile.
Make sure video is in the correct format for the platform. Currently this is horizontal for Facebook and the website, vertical for Instagram. Check the ideal length for the platform you're using. Clarity is more important than the very highest quality - viewers don't want us to consume all their data allowance.
High quality audio - this is important. Listeners will switch off if they can't hear. It's a waste of your time to create audio that cannot be heard.
This is not an exhaustive list. Have you done your research? Can you meet all the consent, accessibility, quality and copyright requirements? Then it's time to get creating!