This post previously appeared on PRSA’s New Professionals Section’s blog, The Edge.
Creating and maintaining an editorial calendar should be an integral part of any PR or marketing strategy.
But, with the ever-growing number of networks to share branded content with our audiences, keeping a well-curated editorial calendar is a daunting task. Here are a few tried-and-true ways you can simplify the process.
Creating your editorial calendar
The first steps in creating an editorial calendar that works for you are outlining the social networks to be used and the brands/blogs/etc. that you need to manage, as well as the depth of detail you need. Knowing these items will determine which services will work best for you.
If you only need to see a schedule of posts, using a traditional calendar app like Google calendar will work perfectly. You can create separate calendars for each blog or brand and color code it all to easily see when something needs to be done. Using a calendar app will also allow you to block out time for development and strategic planning.
If you prefer to see your posting schedule as a breakdown of the process behind creating and posting your content, a service like Trello may be the way to go. With Trello, you can create multiple boards for each step of your editorial process and add cards with topics, ideas or post titles as needed. Cards can be labeled with colors, assigned due dates and shifted from board to board as the piece moves through the editorial process. Drafts of posts can also be attached to the cards.
Using your editorial calendar
Once you’ve decided which type of editorial calendar you need, it’s time to fill it with your topics and ideas. A good content marketing plan is part coming up with great ideas and part actually getting the ideas posted on time. (Click to Tweet!)
Creativity and productivity often come in bursts, so it’s important to let the ideas flow, but to not run wild with posting everything at once, since consistency is almost as important as great content.
Once your editorial calendar is full of fantastic ideas and your content creation is underway, you need to plan how to get it noticed by your audience. As you’d guess, social media is a key component of this strategy.
Using a social media scheduling app, like Buffer, Hootsuite or TweetDeck, depending on your needs. Including which networks you plan to post on for each topic in your editorial calendar is a great way to keep your efforts on track and organized.
Setting aside a chunk of time each week dedicated to scheduling your social media for the week will also make being consistent so much easier. Planning is half the battle, after all!
What are your favorite tools for editorial planning? Please share in the comments below!