If You Do Nothing Else, Use An Editorial Calendar and Measurement for Your Content Strategy | Beth’s Blog

If You Do Nothing Else, Use An Editorial Calendar and Measurement for Your Content Strategy

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Participants at FFL Training Doing Content Strategy Brainstorm

 

Note from Beth: By the time you read this post, I will be in the USA from doing a training in Tunisia for NGOs and trainers who will deliver training to women entrepreneurs as part of the WES program and also improve their NGO’s use of social media.   This past week, I had the opportunity to work some amazing trainers and NGOs in that country to share and adapt instructional techniques and information about using social media as part of an integrated strategy.      One of the most important exercises I do is a “Fishbowl” where participants go through the process of generating ideas for an editorial calendar.

The best ever resource and template for an editorial calendar comes from my colleague, Holly Minch at LightBox Collaborative.    It was fun to see NGOs in Tunisia begin to embrace, adapt, and apply the concept.    The template itself is geared for the USA, but since Holly has so generously shared it for free in Google document,  I suspect it could be easily localized for NGOs in many other places of the world and easily converted to other languages.

Holly published the 2013 version back in December, but you can never have too much of a good and incredibly useful resource!!!  Here’s another simplified template that is also pretty from John Haydon.  And, if you want to dive deeper into content marketing for nonprofits, go subscribe to Kivi Leroux Miller’s blog.  I hear she is working or has finished a second book on content marketing for nonprofits, and if you haven’t read her first book, here’s where to find it.

It’s Not Too Late To Set Your Communications Agenda with LightBox Collaborative’s 2013 Editorial Calendar – Guest Post by Holly Minch, Lightbox Collaborative

The LightBox Collaborative 2013 Editorial Calendaris here!

Three years ago, we released our first editorial calendar with the hopes that our fellow nonprofit communicators would be inspired to think of new and interesting ways to get their message out, essentially acting as their own publisher.

Since then, this practical tool has received great feedback and praise from our colleagues:

Beth Kanter, author of Beth’s Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media and co-author of “The Networked Nonprofit” says “It’s not every day that you come across high quality content shared freely with the community – it helps lift all the boats.”

Nelson Layag, Training Director of CompassPoint Nonprofit Services says “Having an editorial calendar has anchored a team-based approach to communications. It’s given structure to what was a wild wild west approach to reaching out to our community.” (Nelson offers more insights on CompassPoint’s experiencehere on Kivi Leroux Miller’s excellent blog nonprofitmarketinggiude.com.)

If you are new to the concept of an editorial calendar, it is a user-friendly tool for mapping relevant, compelling content to your media channels. Since the Calendar is presented as a Google spreadsheet, you can tailor it to keep your team informed and aligned about communications opportunities. Our colleagues and clients who use the tool also find that it sparks new ideas from staff, especially when customized with your team’s work plan. For example, our colleagues at VolunteerMatch used the tool as an inspiration to create their 2012 volunteer engagement calendar.

This year, we’ve further refined this handy tool, and tested it with a number of our clients. So now the 2013 version has twice the hooks to inspire nonprofit communications. Download a copy now and add your own calendar hooks, program dates, events and other important dates that your organization can leverage for successful communications. Read last year’s blog post for more details.

Let us know what dates you think we should have on the 2013 radar. And we look forward to hearing your tips on how you customized your 2013 editorial calendar.

P.S.: We’ll update the Editorial Calendar mid-year, and will share other tips and tools for content strategy, so sign up for inbox delivery to stay up-to-date.

Holly Minch is LightBox’s founder and hopes the 2013 Editorial Calendar helps you achieve greater communications impact during the coming year.

 

 


26 Responses

  1. [...] Note from Beth: By the time you read this post, I will be in the USA from doing a training in Tunisia for NGOs and trainers who will deliver training to women entrepreneurs as part of the WES program and also improve their NGO's use of social…  [...]

  2. WES says:

    Thanks for sharing this great tool. We’ve shared it with WES Partner Organizations on our Facebook Group.

  3. [...] One of the most important exercises I do is a “Fishbowl” where participants go through the process of generating ideas for an editorial calendar.The best ever resource and template for an editorial calendar comes from my colleague, Holly Minch atLightBox Collaborative. It was fun to see NGOs in Tunisia begin to embrace, adapt, and apply the concept. The template itself is geared for the USA, but since Holly has so generously shared it for free in Google document, I suspect it could be easily localized for NGOs in many other places of the world and easily converted to other languages.  [...]

  4. [...] Note from Beth: By the time you read this post, I will be in the USA from doing a training in Tunisia for NGOs and trainers who will deliver training to women entrepreneurs as part of the WES program and also improve their NGO's use of social…  [...]

  5. LBCollab says:

    Thanks for sharing the ed calendar, Beth! And thanks WES for sharing with your partner organizations. If any of them have any questions about it, please point them our way!

  6. [...] The best ever resource and template for an editorial calendar comes from my colleague, Holly Minch at LightBox Collaborative. It was fun to see NGOs in Tunisia begin to embrace, adapt, and apply the concept. The template itself is geared for the USA, but since Holly has so generously shared it for free in Google document, I suspect it could be easily localized for NGOs in many other places of the world and easily converted to other languages.  [...]

  7. [...] Note from Beth: By the time you read this post, I will be in the USA from doing a training in Tunisia for NGOs and trainers who will deliver training to women entrepreneurs as part of the WES program and also improve their NGO's use of social…  [...]

  8. I’m a big Beth and Kivi booster and often refer their blogs to my clients. Plus I often cite them as a resource in my own Clairification.com blog. This is another great share, and now I’m going to be following Holly and Lightbox Collaborative as well.

    I can’t agree more about the importance of having an editorial calendar for your content. Social media can help to spread your message, but it can’t make your message actionable or relevant. Only you can do that, and that means you’ve got to be thoughtful about it and message according to plan. This is a great tool to help you be intentional and consistent. Winging it doesn’t cut it.

  9. Beth says:

    Thank you so much Claire – appreciated.
    Wes -thank you for sharing this post with NGOs in Tunisia
    Holly/Lightbox: you rock, what else can I say?

  10. [...] content calendar is essential a framework to make your content strategy more refined and actionable. It also helps you better organize and utilize [...]

  11. [...] an editorial calendar has several benefits, [...]

  12. Will Coley says:

    This is great, Holly! I love the hook ideas!

    I’m wondering if the columns for different platforms could be see as different parts of a combined workflow. i.e. the primary place for new content would be the website (or “blog”), then these links would be shared on social media and then compiled into a monthly newsletter. I wonder if this is less intimidating for folks starting out.

    As you know, I’m also trying to get nonprofits to think of different types of content besides text such as photo slideshows, video clips or audio segments that can be integrated into the work of the organization.

  13. May says:

    Nice tool, Holly and thanks to Beth for bringing it to our attention. First thing that I’m going to do is to recommend it to my close friend who is a part time event organizer. I remember she told me how hard it was to keep and manage things in check, so I guess this is the answer after all. For me, even though not in the major event business, I’m going to use it for my simple daily work chores and see how it works out.

  14. Beth says:

    Hi Will,

    I have seen many organizations adapt Holly’s editorial calendar to fit their needs — some have done a more detailed one for a particular channel, others have create calendars that are shared with other organizations, and also some have actually used google calendar! http://www.flickr.com/photos/cambodia4kidsorg/8382409994/in/photostream – so there isn’t one way to do it.

    I have an editorial calendar, but I also keep an “idea dashboard” – basically a journal of ideas and my research on blog posts “in the pipeline.”

    On my editorial calendar -I’ve modified Holly’s tool to incorporate the channels I use – plus measurement.

  15. [...] resulting in a content calendar. And another former Socialbrite partner, Beth Kanter, recently featured a blog post about the need for an editorial [...]

  16. [...] January dealing with the last of the decorations, cleaning house, planning ahead, crafting your editorial calendar, and doing other such organizational things. But before you launch into the year in earnest, [...]

  17. [...] If You Do Nothing Else, Use An Editorial Calendar and Measurement for Your Content Strategy [...]

  18. [...] Note from Beth: By the time you read this post, I will be in the USA from doing a training in Tunisia for NGOs and trainers who will deliver training to women entrepreneurs as part of the WES program and also improve their NGO's use of social…  [...]

  19. Alex says:

    Would love to see some sample ed calendars from groups. Will share mine, which draws on Lightbox hooks and our own interest areas.

  20. Jim baird says:

    Thank you so much for this article,a lot of people need editorial calendar, your work is appreciated.

  21. Great post – and great Editorial Calendar. I love the idea of the hooks. I believe that any content shouldn’t stand alone, so some way of tying individual pieces of content together via themes would be good to see. You could then tell at a glance if you were hitting your goals of publishing information on the various themes that are important to you.

    thanks again, Matt.

  22. [...] if you don’t have the basics down: clear messaging, a strong brand, great content, and a serious executable strategy and [...]

  23. [...] short concise updates build a more complete and current picture of your nonprofit’s work. An editorial calendar can help you think through upcoming news hooks or events to tie your work to. But who’s going to [...]

  24. [...] will be planned ahead, nor should it be, but this tool is sure to boost your engagement numbers. Beth Kanter has a great post about editorial calendars, and points to an excellent edcal [...]

  25. Pasco says:

    Editorial calendars are a must-have – thank you for sharing, Beth! :)

  26. [...] will be planned ahead, nor should it be, but this tool is sure to boost your engagement numbers. Beth Kanter has a great post about editorial calendars, and points to an excellent edcal [...]