Editorial calendars – five quick tips

By Kirsten Lecky

If you’re like some marketers we talk to, you may be struggling with the elusive — and highly coveted — editorial calendar. We often hear questions like, “Where do I start?” or “What should it include?” and, of course, “Who owns the process?” The good news/bad news is that there’s no single right way to create an editorial calendar and there are endless options to consider. So, just getting one started and keeping it going is always the winning answer.

Whether you’re using an editorial calendar now or are thinking about building one, here are a few things to consider:

  1. Find a tool that works for you. We use Google Drive. It’s easy for sharing, accessibility (especially mobile), and collaboration. If you have more than one person participating in your editorial process, it’s essential to use a cloud-based tool like Google Drive. Click here for a list of 15 editorial calendar tools.
  1. Organize your content by monthly themes. We all know it’s important that our content addresses what’s on the minds and hearts of our consumers/patients. But it can be challenging not to slip into promotional content. One way to avoid this is to organize your content by monthly themes. For example, July is “Summer Fun and Safety”, August is “Back to School” and September is “How to Stay Balanced”. As you brainstorm ideas, remember: You’re living in their world, not yours. You may also feel more organized and focused if you plan this way.
  1. Match service lines to content topics. Connecting service lines to topics will help you identify:
  • Clinical subject matter experts (SMEs) to interview.
  • Places to find source information.
  • Opportunities for conversion.

You may be striving to position yourself as a healthcare partner throughout the continuum of care and not just at the point of care. Having your service lines share tips and helpful information on everyday topics can add value and build trust.

  1. Leverage the eyes and ears of your employees. It’s hard to be creative all the time. Why not look to the thousands of employees that are interacting with your patients every day? They could be great idea generators for you. What do they see … hear … notice? Is there a frequently asked question that a blog post can address? Is there a chance to spotlight a patient transport for going out of their way to help someone?

Have an easy way for employees to pass along their ideas to the hospital editorial team. Maybe even offer some fun incentives to encourage participation. Store those ideas in a Parking Lot inside your editorial calendar, which becomes a rich source of content ideas every month.

  1. Keep track of the type of content you’re sharing. Write down whether it’s a blog, video, case study or patient story. This keeps your content balanced and interesting, which will help engage your audiences in new and different ways.

To bring it all together, here’s an example of how you could organize your editorial calendar:

If you’d like to receive a copy of this template, please email us at hello@writergirl.com or reach us via our website. Share your contact information and we’ll be happy to send one your way!