If you missed part 1, catch up on the first five reasons we think you should have a content planner in place. In short, we think they’re brill!
On with the 10 reasons…
6. If a small team work on your PR and marketing, a plan is essential to keep each other in the loop and avoid duplication or opportunities being missed altogether. You can colour code plans to show who is responsible for what, as well as coming together to brainstorm ideas.
7. Similarly, if different departments are involved in your external communications, even in a less obvious way, a plan can help keep everyone on the same page. For example, if the recruitment team has a new role to advertise, this needs to be factored into things like social media planning and what content goes on the website.
Even when something isn’t meant to go public – for example an internal newsletter, having a really clear idea of what is going on across your communications means you have lots of content ideas to share and get colleague backing for.
Fear of missing out
8. Not having a detailed plan leaves you wide open to missing opportunities and deadlines. As we mentioned in Part 1, if you want to get into a Christmas gift guide, you might be looking six months ahead to make it on time.
At Pay as you PR, we recommend having your plan set out for one year ahead, with three months of planning in place, and at least one week’s worth of social media and content actually written and scheduled, where possible. This frees up time to respond to customers and supporters as and when you need to, without having to worry about posting more routine content.
If you think about the work that goes into a big campaign or seasonal marketing activities, a year is not actually that long. Working backwards from D-day, you might find preparation has to begin months in advance to fit in everything you want to achieve. Looking at the bigger picture as you go along also enables more creative thinking, brainstorming, and time to hone your ideas.
9. A content plan shouldn’t be put together in machine gun fashion, just firing out as many PR and marketing ideas as you can think of in the hope some will stick. Everything in the plan should be there with the intention of meeting a specific goal.
The beauty of the plan is those goals can change and evolve as you go along, and therefore the content can too. The business or charity goals you set should be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely) and the content plan helps with most, if not all, of these factors.
And don’t forget to use the insights you have
10. Speaking of measurement, the content plan is crucial for looking backwards as well as forwards. At the end of each month, or at a defined point in each month, we recommend an evaluation of what has gone before.
Bringing together information you have collected like your social media insights, web traffic, how many mailouts were opened, etc, means you can look at what has worked well and not so well, and then you can feed this into the plan as it moves forward.
You should keep questioning your own choices and let insights from the plan help you to keep moving forwards.
By Hannah Upton
Brimming with ideas but not sure how to translate it into a proper strategy? Let us help you get started.