Pass the WD-40: Quick & dirty notes

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Notes from presentation at February 23, 2011 MCN Communications and Technology conference.

Notes from presentation at February 23, 2011 MCN Communications and Technology conference.

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  • 1. Pass the WD-40: Running your communications program like a well-oiled machine Ruth Patton & Jenna Hartwig Wade, Fresh Energy MCN 2011 Technology and Communications Conference, February 23 Quick and dirty notesThe editorial calendar: what it is, what it can do for you An editorial calendar is a tool that helps you plan what content you’re going to publish, when, and how. • Integrated campaigns • Consistent content • Support/leverage for work plans, budget battles • Future content planningThe groundwork: research • Who are your target audiences? • What are your goals for those audiences? • Audiences, goals, and channels work together to make great content • Having your audiences and goals (and the right channels) identified helps narrow your focusThe big picture • Create content and deliver it in ways that appeal to your audiences and help you fulfill your org goals. • To find the sweet spot between content/audiences/goals/channels… o What kinds of content are people looking for? o What kinds of conversation around your issues already exist? • Find a conversation rather than create a needWhy research? • Help guide what words and messages you use in your content. • Using a couple different tools, find words/phrases most commonly used: searches, online conversations, social mediaWhat you can find: • What people are searching for • What conversations are happening online and in social media • What’s going on with your own online content • What your supporters want 1
  • 2. Google alerts ( • Google alerts track web and social media content • Good “cover your bases” methodGoogle Insights for Search ( • What words and topics people are looking for right now (or over the long term) • Shows you top searches, rising searches (and how fast those new searches are rising) • You can compare geography, time frames, specific termsSocial media • Different animal • Look for type of conversations that dominates, topics driving engagement, questions being asked • Make sure you’re in the middleSocialmention ( • Big picture trends, specifically in social media • Real-time results on the conversations that are happening in the world on your topicFacebook • Faking a Facebook ad • Find everyone who has those terms on their profileTwitter search ( • What are people tweeting about? • Search by keyword, limit by geography, time frame, language, tone, or whether the tweet was asking a • What hashtags are people using • Be part of the “right” conversations, the ones that revolve around your issuesGoogle analytics ( • What do people gravitate toward on your website or blog? • Need a google account of course (use any email) and free • Page views, unique visitors, time spent on particular pages, etc.Analyze your own social media • What tweets/FB posts/entries get the best results, think about producing more of those • Facebook Insights, Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Sprout Social, SpredfastGeneral principles 2
  • 3. • Ensure consistent branding • Ensure consistent voice and tone • Keep it all connected: make it easy for people to find your social media pages from your website and emails (and from each other) • Integrate your messages, keeping in mind which channel is best for what message • Leave a trail: make sure people won’t get lost as they navigate your message channels • Create great content: staff work plans, occasions of note in your industry (Earth Day, Black History Month, National Poetry Month), seasons, holidaysCreating an editorial calendar • Now that you’ve got your research and your content, how do you keep it all organized? • Pieces of paper and a file folder, paper or online calendar, excel or google docs, fancy software • Follow the KISS ruleWhat can your editorial calendar keep track of? • Channels, deadlines, themes, authors, assignments, story ideas, published content, retweets, clicks, page views, goalsChoose your level… • Oily: If you don’t have a lot of channels, aren’t producing a lot of content, you’re a one-person shop • Oilier: A few more channels, month by month view, optional ingredients • Even oilier: A yearly calendar with multiple channels and a monthly breakdown • Oiliest (or crazy oily): Metrics, images you’ll use, links you’ll include, comments and page views afterwardsOur experience • Never had a calendar before • Day-long communications retreat, outside of the office • Big ol’ piece of paper, lots of coffee, and different colored markers • Brainstormed every channel we could think of, and lots of other things • Months along the top – an entire year’s worth • Started with the solid due dates, the things we knew for sure • Filled in the holes with the goal of having multiple interesting things going on every month • Plugged it into one big excel spreadsheet with a monthly view 3