How to create great content

Technology makes it easy to share content. Your website, blog, Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites provide the ability to publish your content. Where you publish depends on where your stakeholder group spends time and it is important to identify how they want to interact with your organization. But how do you create engaging, relevant, timely content?

Create an Editorial Schedule
Do you have a schedule of the content you will upload? A little forethought goes a long way when you are busy and need content or an idea in a hurry.

Here are some things to think about when developing an editorial schedule. What are the key areas of content that are valuable to your stakeholder group? Are there annual events or happenings that you can put in to the schedule? Ask stakeholders what they are interested in hearing about from you and add it to the schedule. Look at information you are using – do you have a media pitch or news release that you can repurpose? Do you have more information than you used from an interview with your CEO or another industry leader?

Ask for Assistance
We have worked with some clients to establish a content committee, an advisory board and we have also put out a call for volunteer content creators (establishing exactly how much of their work week can be put towards this task). Often there are individuals within your organization that have skills in this area that you don’t realize. Their positions might not have anything to do with writing, taking images or identifying good stories, but they are good at this. Asking for assistance isn’t a sign of weakness; it shows that you want to get others engaged and that you are interested in their areas/departments.

Think Like the Media
It is human nature to fall into writing material in a more promotional manner – it’s often a big part of our job. Take a step back and think like a magazine/newspaper editor/writer or broadcast producer. Moving into the role of content producer doesn’t mean you are going to air dirty laundry or talk about negatives; it means that you are going to create authentic, compelling content. It means creating content in an editorial style – a style that is balanced and has quotes that are substantial. The content could show the humanity, the challenges, the risks and the successes of your organization.

Change Up Your Words
We recently had a client that struggled with taking on an editorial approach. She was a good writer, but the content she was creating read like marketing material. Working with her, we developed a list of words that she agreed not to use; words like leading edge, exciting, innovative and world-class weren’t to be used. (Don’t get us wrong, we have nothing against these words in the proper context.) It was a bit of a challenge at first. She had a big case of writer’s block because she relied on these words. However, she had a breakthrough. Now her content is read by a large stakeholder group and it is regularly shared throughout the industry. It was a big step forward in building her organization’s brand.

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