27 Oct 2016

How to Run a Content Marketing Editorial Meeting

Organizations that embrace content marketing are now thinking like publishing companies. They understand they need to:

  • have a strategic, long-term plan for content
  • be nimble so they can produce time-sensitive content quickly
  • do resource planning so their content gets published
  • have one person as the main point-of-contact who owns everything

Guess what else publishers do? They have regular editorial meetings! News organizations often meet multiple times per day to discuss breaking news and how they’re going to cover it.

I’m not advocating for daily gatherings, but I do believe strongly that to be successful in content marketing, you need “constant communication and reinforcement” with your teams.

Regular editorial meetings will help make your #contentmarketing more successful. Click To Tweet

Without recurring opportunities to reinforce the value of content marketing and your approach, your teammates will become complacent and stop contributing. Your company will slowly, but surely, fail at content marketing. Does this objection sound familiar?

Ultimately, this is a team sport. Regular, face-to-face editorial board meetings will help you:

  • plan content and resources
  • hold your teams accountable
  • share lessons learned

So I’m going to put on my old journalism hat now. I remember having weekly editorial board meetings at my college newspaper, and it’s a tactic that can help companies even in today’s digital-first environment.

Who Should be on my Content Marketing Editorial Board?

editorial meeting

Every single person in your company! Just kidding.

While every employee can contribute, odds are you’ll want to identify a “content champion” from each key department in your organization. I would recommend having a backup for each team as well.

More specifically, here’s who to include on your content marketing leadership team:

  • Anyone who listens to customers or speaks with them regularly. Think sales, marketing, R&D, product development, account managers, and customer support.
  • Representatives from across the company, so you have content creators for every part of the business that ties back to your business goals. This will help ensure you will have diverse content topics and formats moving forward.
  • Social media team members will be valuable to have on your content editorial board because they can share customer feedback collected on social, and also report on what content you have that tends to perform well on social.
  • Freelance writers or contracted partners.

If you still don’t think you have the resources for content marketing, think again:

How will you convince these 5-15 people to join your editorial board? You or someone in a leadership position needs to set expectations that content marketing is a part of these employee’s job responsibilities now. If your company wants to succeed at content marketing, and if you want to solve your challenges with your website, your online revenue, or your leads, participation across the company is required.

If you want to succeed at #contentmarketing, participation across the company is required. Click To Tweet

Remind these folks that joining a cross-functional team is a chance for them to grow professionally and be exposed to other areas of the company. They will become stronger, more valuable employees because of it.

What Should be on my Content Marketing Editorial Meeting Agenda?

Everyone knows that meetings can be toxic if they are too long, too frequent, or too lofty in their goals. I am a big believer in frequent check-ins that are brief (30 minutes or less).

Any successful meeting has these three roles, every time:

how-to-run-a-content-marketing-editorial-meeting-in-copy-image

1. Leader

The leader should explain the goals and expected outcomes of your editorial board meeting, every time. Yvonne Lyons suggests having aYvonne Lyons suggests having a different person run each meeting to avoid stagnation and ensure your teammates stay involved and engaged.

2. Timekeeper

With up to 10 items in your editorial board meetings (see the next section), you’ll need to make sure these meetings stay on track. Your timekeeper should be comfortable pushing back on others, tabling certain discussions so they can be resolved after the meeting, and generally maintaining order.

3. Scribe

New ideas, shifting content priorities, and keen observations may be brought up in your editorial meetings. Having one person write down your meeting “minutes” will help you and your team recall points of interest and take the necessary next steps.

10-Point Agenda for your Content Planning Session

  1. Strategic Updates: Reinforce your content marketing vision, and how this ties to overall business goals.
  2. Upcoming Content: What’s in the pipeline? Do you need to brainstorm as a group? Are we moving in the same direction?
  3. Integration: Do any upcoming article ideas share similar themes? Can you create a series or a hub and spoke campaign? Does any of this online content tie to other marketing or offline efforts?
  4. Distribution: Does the team have opportunities to share or place any of this content on external websites? This can help you develop valuable backlinks to your website.
  5. Grammar Police: Everyone loves a grammar cop. Nevertheless, reinforcing editorial policies, approval guidelines, and best practices in front of the group can be a valuable timesaver. Consider sharing some of the edits you find yourself making time and time again.
  6. Tips and Tricks: Has anyone on the editorial board found online automation tools? Or people within your organization or industry who are great sources for content or interviews?
  7. Pain Points: Which upcoming deadlines are at risk? Are there resources in the room who can help others who are in a bind? Are there bottlenecks in your content approval process?
  8. Results: Share progress, content pieces recently published, milestones reached, metrics, and website trends.
  9. Case Study: Have someone present a success story on a piece of content they developed and published. Perhaps a blog post that earned links or incited comments, an e-book that drove leads, or a video that drove website traffic.
  10. Next Steps and Assignments: As with any meeting, confirm with your attendees who will be working on which upcoming projects, their milestones and deadlines, and what they should do if they encounter obstacles.

Final Tips for Your Content Team Meetings

  • Don’t just rehash your content calendar. That can be accomplished over e-mail or by sharing a Google Doc, Quip spreadsheet, or Trello board.
  • Periodically, plan to have longer editorial meetings where you can have brainstorm sessions or strategic planning sessions. Do whatever you can to maintain energy in these meetings, and eliminate the mundane.
  • Ensure that your content marketing manager or managing editor is constantly teaching and sharing knowledge. I recommend having quarterly training sessions or workshops.

What did we miss? Do you have bi-weekly or monthly content marketing editorial board meetings? What is working or not working for your company? Tell us on social media.


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