I’m a calendar convert.
Although I’ve written about the importance of editorial calendars before, if you sat me down and asked if you really needed one for your single staff-run chamber, I probably would’ve said no, not unless it helps you organize your thoughts and helps streamline your creative process.
I changed my mind. You need one.
Yes, and editorial calendar is one more thing to do, but it’s going to make things easier for you and chamber content creation in the long run.
Why You Need A Chamber Editorial Calendar
I promise, this will make life easier. Wait for it….
John Jantsch from Duct Tape Marketing, a guru in small business marketing, uses a much less off-putting term for an editorial calendar. He suggests every month should have a theme. A theme helps you concentrate on one area of content. For chambers that could be a month of shop local posts/content, a month dedicated to your biggest event (like human interest stories behind it, for instance), or a month spent on resources for minority- or women-owned business (this would make a great e-book when it was stitched together later).
Themes make your life easier in a variety of ways. They narrow your scope on topics, and give you an incentive to create loosely connected pieces that can then easily be repurposed into one. If you’re creating well-researched pieces to begin with you can do all of the research at once, saving time. This also helps you line up interviews or comments on topics from members because you know what you’ll be writing (or broadcasting) about months from now.
This concept resembles what this chamber is doing with its content strategy.
If you’re still unsure of the need for an editorial calendar or theme for each month, consider this stacking concept. Thrifty grocery shoppers encourage people to look at grocery ads, and base their week’s menu on the things on sale. They suggest planning out your entire menu for the week because you can buy larger quantities to save money. If you buy a can of tomato paste but only need a tablespoon for your recipe, you either have to freeze it or it goes to waste. If, on the other hand, you’ve already made a plan to use it in another way, you’ve created something new out of something that would’ve sat opened with no purpose.
An editorial calendar, or monthly theme for the more casual among us, helps you use your resources in the most effective manner.
Don’t let great content go to waste. Explore the concept fully and then repurpose your pieces into something new and valuable for your audience. You’ll save a lot of time and energy worrying about what to post.