Guest Post by Shanan Sorochynski

Who covers for you when you go on vacation?

I’ve asked a few people (inside and outside our organization) that question and they all had similar responses.

No one.

We’re masochists – myself included.

We do one of two things.

We either work during our holidays,

… except instead of being at the office we do it from home, the beach, the cabin, wherever it is we trick ourselves into believing we are getting away from it all…

Image: Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.comvia Flickr, CC 2.0


We work longer days to make up for the time we are about to take off.

So, when our holidays come around we are so burnt out we are not really resting so much as recovering – and that’s not good for us or our organizations.

The main reason for all this (at least from the small informal survey I did) was that we would rather staple our eyelids to the back of a moving train than try and find someone to do the work for us.

We can’t imagine asking someone to take on extra work when they are struggling to keep up with what they have.

No one else knows how to do our jobs.

We can’t trust anyone to do the work as well as we do and on and on and on.

And that might all be true. But what if you don’t have a choice any more?

I don’t.

Our team has been told that we have to take our holidays and that we have to find someone in the office to cover for us.

It’s not the worst thing in the world to hear.

And I really only need to do a few things to comply:

1. Check in with Life Coach Tyler Durden about this whole letting go thing.

2. Give someone else in the office (other than IT) full access to the site.

3. Give that person (a realistic set of) tools to keep things afloat while I’m gone.

That third point is going to be a bit tricky.

While I don’t need anyone to work on strategy, project development or content planning while I’m out of the office, I do need them to handle the day-to-day (er, hour-to-hour) tasks involved with managing the organization’s blog.

Unfortunately, no one in the department has ever blogged…

… and only a few of them have social media experience… and that experience is limited to Facebook.

They also don’t have a lot of time to learn how to manage a blog and they need to be able to do it in addition to their own jobs.

Image: Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.comvia Flickr, CC 2.0

So I need to lower my expectations a bit.

Strategy, content promotion, search engine optimization – these things are off the table.

I need to create a quick-and-dirty guide.

Here is what I have so far:

Things I need to do before I leave the office

  • Give the person filling in Admin status.
  • Forward blog comments to their email address.
  • Schedule posts.

With any luck the person filling in won’t need to create additional posts and site visitors will follow our participation guidelines. But if that doesn’t happen the person filling in needs to know:

How to get into the guts of the site

VIDEO: WordPress Basics – Creating a post (2 minutes 12 seconds)

How to moderate comments

VIDEO: WordPress Tutorial: Approving and Editing Comments (2 minutes 59 seconds)



  • All comments are automatically approved.
  • If you edit a comment (omit a word, etc.) you need to show that.

How to post to WordPress

VIDEO: How to Embed a Video in a WordPress Post (5 minutes 52 seconds)

VIDEO: How To Upload & Insert A Picture Into Your WordPress Blog Post or Page (2 minutes 59 seconds)


  • No press releases.
  • If the post isn’t interesting enough to email to a friend don’t post it to the site.

How to find solutions to problems not on the list!

Google knows everything.

What else should I add?

Shanan-SorochynskiShanan Sorochynski manages the University of Regina’s first official blog: YOURblog. Previous to this she was the managing editor of U of R Report, the University’s faculty and staff internal publication, and a print journalist in Manitoba.