In associations, editorial teams usually have their offices situated close together. Nearby might be the creative department that produces the content products, like the website or magazine. But where are the other content managers in the organization: the web, meetings or membership content teams?
If your organization is like most, the layout of your offices was likely dictated by the hierarchy of your management structure, which is usually shaped like a pyramid, with offices clustered around their departmental purpose, like communications or editorial. There are reasons why this clustering is successful:
- purpose, authority and responsibility are clearly defined
- clearly communicates to the organization who works on common goals
- career paths can be predetermined
- creates pockets of specialization and focused efforts
But, there are disadvantages:
- creates silos
- increases bureaucracy which makes organizations slow to respond or evolve
- discourages interdepartmental collaboration
- creates displaced loyalty to the silo rather then the organization
- encourages budgeting processes that follow departmental lines which further discourage interdepartmental collaboration
The business landscape we are working in is barely recognizable from the times before Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs, Google, or mobile marketing and the resulting content demands, but the office layout still segments by department. Meetings? That way. Membership? Over there, and Publications, this way.
And to digress a little, the title structure is outmoded too. Editor? That hardly describes a role that exists today. Content Curator is probably more like it. So office layout, structure and job titles haven’t caught up with what’s happening in the content demand cycle. And what is a Chief Content Officer (CCO) to do about it? (You like that title? Take it, you’ve probably earned it.)
You have gold in your hand in the form of the content you manage. In order to meet the ever-increasing demands of content, CCOs are going to have to open the communications between departments. It is time to find a new way to create and manage content more transparently, but without introducing the inefficiencies of meetings.
At the time of the genesis of a content idea, it needs to be mapped. How is the content that you create-manage-curate-govern going to move through your channels, and how can it help other content managers in your organization. That mapping information needs to be on the editorial calendar.
No longer is it acceptable to send an eblast only to announce the end of the early bird meeting rate with nothing more of value than that reminder. Sure you want to help your members by reminding them, but you better also give them some value for the gift they give you of not unsubscribing. Include a preview of a video interview that will go live the next day, or a sidebar that will accompany an article on the digital pub site, or ask them if they want to add a notification to their calendar. Everyone gets value in this kind of approach; your colleagues, members and attendees.
The effort that good content requires is deserving of – in fact, demands – a thoughtful content strategy that encourages fully leveraging your content. Part of a strong strategy is aligning your content goals throughout the organization, and that probably means the content managers are gonna have to ‘sit’ together in some way.
Take away: bust silos to share your content with other content managers in your organization.
Related: this infographic helpful shows the Top 10 Reasons Social Media Fails. Click on it to view it larger.