“Every company is a media company” – this statement by former Financial Times editor Tom Foremski accurately reflects the present day: Corporate Newsrooms develop, produce and publish content across multiple media channels. However, the old and the new challenges arise when businesses become the media. How do you create good content without losing your strategic focus?
During a customer visit about three years ago I kept turning my eyes to a paper canvas that was barely glued to the wall. There were countless post-its on it and some of them under it on the floor. I found out that it was the result of a content planning session for the upcoming months. All of it has already been neatly put together into a single Excel file, but, due to the practicality of the paper version, it was decided to leave it like that.
One couldn’t deny the charm of a real, handmade communication that emanated from this setting. The only problem was that all the gathered and fleshed out goals of the Strategy Team now took up several square meters worth of paper and a more or less static, bureaucratic Excel spreadsheet.
Professional editorial planning tools are the digital helpers that will provide assistance in a situation like this. Some of them are tailored to the specific requirements of a Corporate Newsroom, and will help you to maintain a clear overview of a project, to produce better content and to achieve your set goals consequently.
Many functions, one goal
Today, editorial planning software is available in various forms and comes in many complexity levels. Apart from custom and costly in-house development, there are some alternatives from external providers. Desk-Net, YessPress or Scompler, to name a few, offer a plethora of features worth a closer look. Every Newsroom organization has to find a good fit that would play nicely with certain media monitoring solutions.
Basic tools will be a great help in digitizing the editorial plan. Advanced tools will add three additional factors to the existing functionality which are essential for a Corporate Newsroom.
Production Control simplifies the coordination of content creation. All tasks, e.g. a new blog post, can be managed with additional options. Who does what? How far along is the production of a new blog post? What strategic goals does it pursue?
Publishing takes over the publication of the created and approved material. Depending on the tool, it is possible to schedule the posts on own social media channels via a direct interface.
Evaluation of your own work as a next step is done with the help of reporting functions. The link between the production data on one side and the analytics data on the other can provide valuable information about the measures resulting from the communication work.
It is important to note that the requirements of various communication departments can vary greatly. And while it is true that most tools offer extensive customization options, they come with a fitting price tag and are not guaranteed to meet your individual requirements.
At the end of the day, all that functionality aside, these tools are primarily meant to aid you in the implementation of the in-house content strategy.
Regular review of content strategy
A content strategy puts the focus on the recipient of your message and helps to develop a better target-group-oriented content. In short, it ensures a coherent customer experience.
However, communication work is always influenced by external dynamic factors: the contextual environment keeps changing over time, and so can the perception of the planned topics. Therefore, it is imperative to review the content strategy regularly and to make minor adjustments as needed. Nonetheless, the decisions should not be based solely on the performance of your media channels.
The monitoring of Earned Media also provides some insights into the efficacy of your content strategy and helps you choose the appropriate communication measures depending on the situation. In addition, keeping an eye on your competition and other relevant players will help you define your topics more clearly. The identification of new trends will enable the Strategy Team to recognize new issues early on and address them within the context of a given topic.
All this will serve as a foundation for the realignment of the overall strategic direction. Also, continual monitoring of traditional and social media is essential for staying current with the daily public discourse or for implementing appropriate communicative measures in a crisis.
Editorial planning tools along with targeted monitoring assist all members of a Corporate Newsroom in producing the right content at the right time.