A poor production process all too often destroys the value of high quality corporate content.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a ghost-written opinion piece, a marketing brochure, or a journalistic report of a company-run event – why pay for a bland, written-by-committee, piece of content or, worse, a piece which takes so long to see the light of day that it’s no longer relevant?
One way to avoid this is to clearly define an efficient process before starting production.
• What is the goal of the content? Is it aimed at educating potential clients about a new trend or subject? Is it aimed at raising the profile of the chief executive and positioning the company as a ‘thought leader’? Is it a marketing document aimed at selling a product or service?
• Define the key stakeholders for review. Do they all need to be involved or are they being invited out of courtesy? The more people involved, the slower the process. Do all the reviewers know the goal of the content? Involve all reviewers from the beginning rather than at the end, when they are likely to go back over territory already covered. Do all stakeholders have copies of the company-provided information which the content is based on? Do they understand the parameters of their feedback and why they have been asked to be involved (are they providing a technical product review, a legal review etc)?
• Who controls the document and the process? Is it the marketing executive overseeing a brochure about a new product? Is it the chief executive overseeing a ghost-written opinion piece? Multiple reviewers often make suggestions or ask questions, which can’t be answered by a content provider. Will the changes add genuine value and help the document meet its defined goal? One person ultimately has to make the call within the company. If it falls to the external content provider, the default position is to accept all changes and the likely outcome is a bland piece of content.
And finally, ask the content provider for their advice. Writers are employed because of their ability, track record, and industry knowledge. Asking them why they have made particular editorial decisions will often lead to a deeper understanding and ultimately, a better piece of content. Good writers are never averse to making changes and want to help clients meet their goals.
A good process makes it both efficient and effective.
If you would like to discuss content or strategy, please send an email to Brendan Swift at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0421 582 849.