Note from Beth: Last week, I had the pleasure of facilitating two workshops on becoming a Networked Nonprofit: Effective Social Strategy for nonprofits in Santa Barbara hosted by the Fund for Santa Barbara. One of the fun exercises I facilitated is a “Fishbowl” where a small group of participants go through the process of generating ideas for an editorial calendar based on their key goals and audience definition.
The best ever resource and template for an editorial calendar comes from my colleague, Holly Minch at LightBox Collaborative who has been sharing her template in a google document since 2011. The 2014 version – new and improved has arrived! You can download it here. The template has been adapted by others, including this version for small organizations created by John Haydon. I also suggest that you pick up a copy of Kivi Leroux Miller’s “Content Marketing for Nonprofits” to also help you in your content strategy for next year. And, of course, don’t forget that you also need to measure your content strategy and “Measuring the Networked Nonprofit” has lots of tips and resources that help you do that.
Become Your Own Publishing Powerhouse with LightBox Collaborative’s 2014 Editorial Calendar guest post by Holly Minch
The 2014 LightBox Collaborative Editorial Calendar has arrived!
When we first launched our Editorial Calendar four years ago we had no idea it would become so popular. Since its release in 2011, our free content scheduling tool has been downloaded and embraced by hundreds of do-gooders and nonprofits across the nation.
“Beautifully done–thank you for this excellent planning tool!” “…we are taking a much more thoughtful approach to our outreach strategies using your editorial calendar!” –Elaine Chen, 2013
“In order to help focus their online communications, I recommend every nonprofit have an editorial calendar. This is a great tool to help them do just that, thanks for sharing it!” –John Kenyon, 2013
“Kudos to the sharp minds of the LightBox Collaborative for creating such an intuitive and useful tool! Great idea! Great implementation! A must for any organization of any size.” –Erin Fogg, 2011
Thanks to user feedback, we enhance and evolve our Editorial Calendar every year. We hope that the latest version helps you become your own publishing powerhouse, able to achieve even greater communications impact in 2014.
What is it?
If you’ve ever worked in public relations or in a newsroom, you have undoubtedly used an Editorial Calendar. For those who have never been a journalist or pitched a journalist, an Editorial Calendar (“Ed Cal” for short) is a 12-month schedule that magazine and newspaper publishers use to plan which topics will be covered in each issue of their publication for a given year. Journalists and editors use them to plan stories up to months ahead of time, and PR practitioners consult them to craft story ideas and determine when to pitch them to targeted media outlets.
Today’s savvy nonprofits have become their own publishers, sharing their stories across various media channels (newsletters, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs, action alerts, etc.), all with different deadlines, writers, and content parameters. We developed the LightBox Collaborative Editorial Calendar to help you plan and schedule collaborative content, assign and share tasks, establish deadlines, review and approve content, and track the status of posts.
How do I use it?
The 2014 LightBox Collaborative Editorial Calendar is available as a Google document, which you can download and customize for your organization. We’ve organized it by month and loaded it with “calendar hooks” you can use or replace with your own. Our hooks lean toward social and economic justice, LGBT and reproductive rights, environmental activism and public health. We hope our suggestions will spark ideas for additional hooks to feed your content strategy and engage your audience.
As you use the tool, we’d love to hear what works for you. Please share your experience and additional hook ideas in the comments section below. You are also invited to share the 2014 LightBox Collaborative Editorial Calendar with fellow do-gooders who can use it to do their good work, better!
Holly Minch is LightBox’s founder and hopes the 2014 Editorial Calendar helps you achieve greater communications impact during the coming year.