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How to work with subject matter experts

Follow this step-by-step guide to help make working with subject matter experts run smoothly.

  1. 1

    Choose your tools

    Before you begin, choose a tool for managing drafting, review and sign-off.

    You could use:

    • Microsoft Word, with the Track Changes and comment functionality
    • GatherContent.
  2. 2

    Clarify the role of the SME

    Before you talk to the SME, decide:

    • Will the SME write content with you?
    • Do you want the SME to be able change drafts?
    • Do you want the SME to be able to leave comments?
    • Who makes a final decision if there is disagreement?
    • Will you send all pages together, or 1 at a time?


  3. 3

    Contact SME

    Get in touch with your expert, and check they’re the best person for the job.

    Talk about:

    • the project
    • deadlines
    • the content design and publishing process
    • their role
    • tools.
  4. 4

    Send drafts

    Remind the SME about their role and deadlines when you send the content.

  5. 5

    Iterate and publish

    Evaluate the suggestions from the SME.

    When a suggestion isn’t clear, start a discussion. Provide clear rationale for changes.

    Sometimes, you’ll need follow your plan for disagreements.

    When you’re both happy with the content, follow your process for publication.

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