How Editorial Calendars Benefit Your Communications Plan
⌛ By Kaylin R. Staten ⌛
This month, we are giving you tactical advice to help your public relations efforts achieve the success you imagine for them. It’s part of Hourglass Media’s mission to give you items you can take with you to your own workplaces and hone them to your liking.
During the Planning Stage, you will want to consider everything that could occur in the Implementation Stage. You’ll prepare your messaging and overall communications plan, and one of the tactics to heavily consider is creating an editorial calendar.
Editorial calendars help you keep content organized during a specific timeframe. For example, Hourglass Media has a free-standing blog editorial calendar where we keep track of weekly blog posts, themes and special-edition content. You want to know when items will be released and who is responsible for them so things don’t slip through the cracks during a busy season.
What should you include in your editorial calendar? Here are four considerations when planning out your editorial calendar:
No matter your preferred method, each editorial content should focus on content and its related publics. You will want to include the following:
The title of the content
Dates of release (past, present, future)
Any monthly content themes
Type of content (one time only or evergreen)
Assignments and responsibilities (team leaders, writers, editors, etc.)
Channels in which the content will be published (traditional, online, email marketing, etc.)
A clear Call to Action — what do you want your audience to do?
The best process that works for your team.
You can use an old-fashioned whiteboard in your conference room, a spreadsheet or a digital calendar linked to your email account to help keep everyone organized. There is nothing worse than scheduling posts for the same day and time as someone within your organization. If more than one person handles social media or other content, keeping a monthly editorial calendar will keep you organized and will prevent days with content-heavy influxes. We use Asana behind the scenes, and it’s where to-do lists, editorial calendars, documents and other content live. We also use Google Calendar for appointments and to block out time. Do whatever keeps everyone on the same page and engaged in two-way communication. Missteps usually happen because of lack of communication.
Items that resonate with your audience.
It’s wonderful to push out content, but you have to be aware of what your publics want. If your audience members really want to learn how to better use their Instagram feeds to promote their companies and you focus on your one-on-one coaching on Facebook, that isn’t listening to what drives the needle with your audience. Keep their needs and pain points in mind when you schedule your editorial calendars. Determine quality, quantity and frequency. For example, releasing a blog post or YouTube video once a week on the same day per week will allow your audience to put it on Their pwn calendars or at least the fronts of their minds.
Actual holidays and social media holidays.
These days, there’s a social media holiday for everything coming and going, so don’t miss the boat to promote your content while hopping on the social media bandwagon. HubSpot has a wonderful calendar to help you get started with social media holidays. After all, you don’t want to be a coffee company and miss out on a National Coffee Day post! Choose the social media holidays that resonate with your company. Don’t try to do all of them or you will risk oversaturation and an unclear mission for your content.
Kaylin R. Staten, APR, is an award-winning public relations practitioner and writer based in Huntington, WV with nearly 16 years of professional communications experience. As CEO and founder of Hourglass Media, she uses her compassionate spirit and expertise to delve into the heart of clients’ stories. She is a recovering perfectionist, mental health advocate, wife, cat mom and Leia Organa aficionado. Connect with Kaylin on LinkedIn.