The end goal of most organizations today is to bring current, expert-driven content to their readership. With the help of editors and writers, subject matter experts and industry leaders, each subject matter category and topic is cultivated and crafted to bring to light the story that will make the most impact, tell the story, and create interest in the brand. This task is not without planning. Enter, the editorial calendar.
Editorial calendars are the blueprint for often an entire year’s worth of projected content, spanning digital and print forums and various distribution methods. Each element of a publication or content forum—editorial, art, and ads—supports the other, and the publication, newsletter, or website is incomplete if all the necessary components are not present. Similarly, the editorial calendar is only part of an organization’s successful overarching content strategy.
The reason all of this planning, timing, and development is necessary? Because it’s your brand, says The YGS Group Editorial Director Annette Gray.
“Your brand is what you stand for as an organization, and your content, in whatever shape you deliver it, is representative of that brand. It is critical to align all the content you produce with your brand identity and voice,” explains Gray. “Well-crafted content that speaks to your organization’s expertise and idea-driven philosophies will go a long way in establishing and upholding your company’s credibility and reputability. It becomes the reality of what your targeted readers will believe about your organization.”
To ensure you are working within the brand-supporting strategy of your organization, an editorial calendar acts as the starting point, the framework for the subject matter or themes to be discussed and is the catalyst of the content development life cycle. The same premise applies to establishing a calendar for content marketing initiatives that coincide with product and service offerings, company events, and industry news. These carefully timed initiatives can bolster your company’s presence in the industry and the general marketplace.
“It’s all about perception. You will be perceived by the caliber of content you produce and put out for show,” continues Gray. “Every article, newsletter blurb, social media post, blog, web feature, and magazine article deserves a high level of consideration and planning that begins with the editorial calendar that should be developed as part of an overall content strategy.”
Establishing an editorial calendar for all content-based initiatives helps focus on the message and its purpose, and considering each message within the context of your brand leads to the creation of strong, relevant content.