Are you sharing your annual content plan with all the right people? That’s the only way to make sure everyone is supporting the same core messaging and pointing to the same key business goals week after week. Here’s who you should be sharing your plan with, and why:
PR/advertising: If they know what the core messaging is, these folks can create new media opportunities and make the most of existing ones. Create an ongoing dialog between content and PR to optimize both efforts to strengthen the core business message and goals.
Social media channel managers: This relationship is key as the social media channel managers are only as good as the content they have to post. Make sure they are up to date on not only specific content, but overall messaging. That way any ad hoc posts, reposts or links they create can still reinforce core messaging.
Webinars and podiums: Speakers can draw from core content for their presentation materials, and can also link to previously published content. Once you know the podium and webinar schedule, you can also promote it via content and social media, or at the very least reinforce the same themes.
Website manager: I hope that you are already sharing with the web team, and they are posting your content regularly. But that isn’t always the case. Remarkably, I have worked with companies whose web teams and content teams had completely different strategies and output, and it’s hard to imagine a bigger waste of content resources.
Research team: Sharing the content strategy with the research folks means they can see how their work is ultimately being used – which is not only rewarding in itself, but can help them tweak future projects. In addition, I find that research folks are usually smart people who can make good suggestions for future projects based on knowing overall goals and past content performance.
Designers: This is pretty obvious, as designers need to prepare for work coming down the pipeline. A designer armed with an overall plan can think ahead about how many infographics to create each year, for example, and which projects fit which formats best.
Newsletter editors: Like web editors, ideally a newsletter editor should be doing at least some repurposing of existing content. Sharing the plan lets this editor map out his or her own editorial calendar, ideally with a good balance of new and repurposed content.
B2B/B2C content teams: If your business is large enough to have two different content teams, then sharing is essential. Although the two teams are likely to have very different goals and content strategies, cross pollination helps each team move forward with a clear understanding of the company’s overall messaging across all channels.
Video manager: Sharing information here should be a two-way street, but again, I’ve worked with companies where these two teams didn’t talk at all. Both should be (at minimum) aware of each other’s plan, and (for optimal power), coordinate those content streams.
Interns: If your company has good interns, you’ll hopefully be arming them with a fair amount of responsibility – perhaps making some social media posts or helping generate content. And honestly, you just never know when an alert and engaged intern will come up with a terrific idea. Teach them, keep them informed, and then watch them be brilliant.
Subject Matter Experts: Share the content plan with key SMEs before your team even starts writing content for their bylines. If you get topic approval in advance, that saves a lot of painful back and forthing on the back end! Then remind your bylined authors when their pieces are about to come out so they can help promote them.
Business Development and Sales: If you think about it, your content exists to help these folks. Make sure they have a heads up on what content is going live each week. Then they can send links to prospects, and post supporting content or links on their own blogs or social media feeds.
One side benefit of regularly sharing your content plan is that you may begin to receive feedback and input into your content strategy. Celebrate! That means that others are buying into the concept and want to be part of the content engine. When your content strategy starts earning that kind of traction, it’s time to set up the big tent and institutionalize regular input – quarterly, bimonthly or whenever works for your team.
Click here to read more about creating an annual content plan.