Case Study: Creating a Flexible Byline Strategy

women-speaking-at-podiumMany content teams struggle to convince the non-marketers in the company that content has tremendous business development and branding value. But once they see the light, it seems like everyone wants a byline on their way to a speaking engagement. What is the best way to manage this bottleneck?


An international data services company had a long list of potential bylined subject matter experts vying for the content’s team great storytelling skills. The company needed help identifying the best bylines for the material.

Specifically, the content team wanted to identify the right names to byline each piece of content, and create a manageable publication frequency that kept those names in the spotlight without demanding too much of their time.

The plan had to be structured enough to ensure balanced coverage for about 20 subject matter experts, prioritized by various business goals. At the same time, it needed the flexibility to be updated as people joined or left the organization, or their areas of expertise changed.


We met with the business development and sales teams to identify their key goals and areas of focus for the coming year. Armed with a list of SMEs and their areas of expertise, we then created an A-list, B-list and then “as needed” list of potential bylines, prioritized by topic. Each list featured half a dozen names to provide multiple byline options.

During the year, as the content team developed individual projects, they could then pull from those lists to match each piece of content. This list was easily updated as SMEs moved or changed their areas of focus.


In the year following this plan, the content team created nearly 200 pieces of content bylined to a dozen high-priority SMEs. Many of those SMEs were tapped to appear on conference podiums and quoted in mainstream media. In addition, the material successfully highlighted four key topic areas, establishing the company’s expertise in those targeted fields.

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