What is an off-platform approver and how do I set it up?

Modified on Tue, 28 Feb 2023 at 12:03 PM

Content creation in large enterprise companies involves input and approval from several stakeholders, some more frequently than others. The less frequent users don’t want to learn a new system and don’t really want to login to Contently platform.

That's why we built the "off-platform approver" feature. In this guide, we'll walk through:

  1. Differences between a main assignee and an off-platform approver

  2. Setting up an off-platform approver into your workflow

Main Assignee vs Off-Platform Approver

Main Assignee

This is typically a user on the Contently platform that is also very familiar with the publication’s content creation process.  The Main assignee’s job is to make sure the off-platform approvers finish their task in a timely manner by answering their questions and by following up with them. The main assignee can keep track of the step by observing the status of the workflow step assigned to off-platform approvers. The statuses are:

  1. Awaiting Review: When an email has been sent to the off-platform approver, but they haven’t clicked on the story link yet. 

  2. Under Review: When the off-platform approver has clicked on the story link in the email, but hasn’t taken any other action yet. 

  3. Revisions Requested: When the off-platform approver has requested revisions on a story they were assigned to. 

  4. Approved: When the off-platform approver has approved a story they were assigned to.

As the main assignee on a story, this user has the ability to “Claim” a story and make changes whenever needed. A common use case for this feature is when the off-platform approver leaves feedback and the main assignee claims the story to make the requested changes. This will speed up the collaboration among content creators. 

The main assignee can also re-send story to the off-platform approvers for their approval, if they had requested revisions or changes were made to the piece that need to be approved again.


The main assignee can also move the story forward or send it back. If the main assignee decides to send a story forward when all remote approvers have not approved the story, they will be asked for confirmation before sending it forward. 


Off-Platform Approver

As an off-platform approver, you will be asked to review or provide feedback on a piece of content. 


When your help is required, you will receive an email from your company’s content team. The email will have a description of what you are required to do. In addition there will a be a link to the view the piece of content that requires your input. 


Once you click on the link you will be taken to a secure webpage that hosts that content. You will be able to do the following things of the page: 

  1. Review the provided content: The page will display the heading and the main body of the content being produced. If it’s a multimedia like a photo, infographic or a video you will be able to play the video or view the full image. 

  2. Provide feedback: You can provide in-line comments to the piece you are being asked to review by highlighting text and adding a comment. If it’s an image, you can select an area and provide comment on that. For videos, you can select a sequence or a select an area on the screen to provide comments. 

  3. Request Revisions: If you feel that a piece needs revisions, click the button on the top right corner of the page. You will be prompted to put in a comment about what you want revised. Fill in your feedback or requests there and click submit. 

  4. Approve: The off-platform approver can click on the approve button, located in the top right corner of the page, if they feel the content is written is up to their standards.



Setting Up Off-Platform Steps

There are two ways to include off-platform approvers into the workflow:

  1. Adding an off-platform step into your workflow template

  2. Adding an off-platform step directly into a workflow for a particular story

Note: Off-platform approvers first need to be added to the team, which will automatically create an account for them. We recommend adding them with the Collaborator role.


Adding an off-platform step to your workflow template 

1. To include an off-platform step in your workflow template, start by finding the workflow template you want to change. Click "Edit" button on the top right to workflow template.

2. On the edit screen, you’ll notice the toggle on each step that will allow you to designate a step as standard or off-platform. To allow a user to access the story off-Contently platform, select the off-platform toggle. 

3. Off-platform step: It’s very similar to the standard step, except it has two kinds of assignees:


Main Assignee: This person is very familiar with the publication’s content creation process and the Contently platform. The job of this person is to make sure the off-platform approvers finish their task in a timely manner by answering any questions or following up with them. This person will also be able to make decisions on whether to send a story forward or backward in the workflow, or make changes themselves, and re-submit to the off-platform approver. 


Off-platform approver: This assignee can either approver a piece of content, request revisions, or provide in-line comments. It’s best to assign someone who needs to approve or provide feedback. Once the off-platform approver finishes their task, the main assignee is notified and can then take the requisite action. All assignees need to be existing users on the platform.

Adding an off-platform step to story workflow 

In order to add a remote step to a story workflow, you can add it into the workflow when creating a new story. You can also edit the workflow of a story that's currently in progress. This will allow you to edit any steps that haven’t started yet or add new steps with an off-platform approver.

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