Unless you hired fresh grads with no experience and no opinions, your content team has something more to contribute to the table than merely executing your overall plan. So if you want them to play a more strategic role in your communications scheme, and if you want to avoid the negative backlash that happens when you view content as a commodity, then I suggest the following steps:
- Allow them to massage your message
- Allow them to set the communication strategy
Allow Them to Massage Your Message
First off, they’re professional communicators who know best how to massage your content so it penetrates the dulled, overloaded senses of the target audience. You probably know the product and the company vision and the quarterly goals, but they know how to make pretty sentences that prospects will want to download, read, link back to or retweet. So let them do the work! Get the actual writing job off your own plate and assign it to your content writers.
Your Action: Provide key messages and key points to guide them, but allow them to craft the final draft. With your approval and revisions of course.
Allow Them to Set the Communication Strategy
They know the best strategies for reaching the audience because they interact with their readers and end-users on a daily basis (and if they’re not, then shame on them). Thus your PR Manager knows best when to schedule a press release and which periodicals to target. Your Social Media Guru knows best when to tweet that announcement for maximum reach and response. Your Blogger knows what kind of posts resonate best with his RSS subscribers.
Your Action: Provide suggestions on strategy, target market, release schedules, and frequency of messaging but defer to your content team’s expertise and hands-on experience with your intended audience.
Then, provide helpful feedback as a project moves along: what do you feel needs improvement, how could we do better? Merely saying “This white paper is horrid” does not give your writers a chance to improve the text product.
If you’ve hired the right content writers and producers, then you probably have a dynamic group of individuals just raring to fuel your marketing plan with their out-of-the-box ideas and writing. Why not allow them to play a more strategic role? After all, it’s what you hired them for. In more common street parlance: use it or lose it.
IMAGE CREDITS: “I had a strategy” graphic by Hordel on Deviantart