I caught an interesting post recently from a writer describing what her editors look for and why they hire her. Her list shows how a content marketing process has supplanted the editorial processes of just even a few years ago. Look at a few of the qualities she lists as desirable and beneficial to editors:
• I promote my own articles [in the social channels]
• I respond to readers’ comments
• My work is 50% journalism, 50% social media
• I crowdsource interview questions
• I embed tweets into articles using Storify
• I find industry experts using LinkedIn, Quora, and HARO
Her list is just another indicator that things have changed, but we still see many teams that adhere to the content process they used years ago. And for good reason, it works. But what exactly does it do for you? It unifies teams to allow them to create great content on deadline. But, there is so much more that content teams must achieve now.
Long-form or bite-sized, there is an ideal way to create, govern and deliver your content in this ever-evolving information-sharing economy. And your process must include ways to “listen:” such as, tracking/analytics, looking for patterns, reading and responding to comments, participating in discussions on issues that matter to your audience – not as a facilitator or expert, just as a helper, sharer, listener, etc. Content teams are responsible for many channels now and how they function to address the high demand must evolve. The writer’s list captures that. Take a look at this comparison of an association editorial team and processes then vs. now.
|Content topics: developed from the niche’s issues with multi-year relevance||Content topics: crowdsourced from listening posts, social, f2f…, with immediate relevance that may or may not endure|
|Content calendar: planned by editorial leadership up to one year in advance||Content calendar: planned by a chief content officer and although some topics may be planned far in advance, many topic ideas are generated closer to publication time|
|Content writing: directed by editorial team using professional writers, some members||Content writing: directed by editorial team using mostly member authors, some professional writers, and building more content creation capabilities inhouse|
|Planned content: typical edit calendar planned one-year out with limited room for agility||Planned content: more content is now planned closer to release, heightened demand for agility|
|Editorial Board has a lot of control over content||Editorial Board has a lot of control over editorial team, but less control over the content due to increase in crowdsourced content|
|Point of View: organization has one voice||Point of view: crowdsourced and curated content offers many voices that must be aligned by edit team|
|Editorial team provides context||Editorial team is even more important in providing context to unify the various points of view|
|Content planned for use in few channels||Content planned for myriad channels, in multiple formats and for reuse, both as is and adapted|
|Content master files stored without styling/coding organized by media name and release date, e.g., MicrosoftWord documents in folders||Content masters governed with a content management system. Organization structure can change to facilitate search, e.g., search by keywords or by tags|
|Writers not involved in promotion of the content||Writers cross promote through their own circles of influence.|
|Team skill set: journalism training/degree||Team skill set: any mixture of journalism, social media, automation and content management softwares, blogging|
|Time was measured in issue frequency, e.g., weekly, monthly.||Real-time is measured in response and conversation|
|Results measured in once-every-5-years readership studies||Results measured immediately and frequently through analytics, comments, results, audience participation|
What other significant shifts are you observing in how editorial teams are creating, governing or delivering content?