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Thought leadership and content marketing: how to build a newsroom

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http://finnpr.com - The benefits of content marketing, inbound marketing and thought leadership are clear. High quality content is a proven way to increase the reputation of a company, generate leads or drive sales.

It can help establish organization leaders as visionaries in their industry, to increase their influence and it can help your organization to make its point to key stakeholders like politicians, regulators and customers.

Almost any reputational or marketing goal can be (at least partly) achieved through the creation of smart, timely content. Also, content marketing and thought leadership are great for SEO.

Guest blogs and op-eds that we have co-created with experts and leaders have been published in international media like Forbes, Fast Company, TechCrunch, Entrepreneur, Inc, Tech.eu, The Next Web, CFO.com and others. Not only are a few of these domains in the top 1000 most visited web properties in the world, they are also reputable sources that can give your SEO a nice kick.

If you’re reading this, however, we will assume that you don’t need to be convinced of the benefits of thought leadership, content marketing or inbound marketing.

You are interested in starting a program yourself, but you just don’t know how to do it. That’s what this presentation is for: to show you exactly how you can set up a robust collaboration between a writer, a thought leader (CEO or expert) and the corporate communication department.

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Thought leadership and content marketing: how to build a newsroom

  1. 1. THE NEWSROOM: A THOUGHT LEADERSHIP CONTENT ENGINE WEBINAR 30.06.2016
  2. 2. WHERE WE GOT OUR CLIENTS PUBLISHED WITH GUEST CONTENT:
  3. 3. THOUGHT LEADERSHIP
  4. 4. Content is a proven way to: • Increase reputation • Generate leads • Drive sales • Build organizational knowledge • Establish leaders as visionaries • Increase influence for the organization among key stakeholders WHY THOUGHT LEADERSHIP
  5. 5. CHALLENGES AND CONSTRAINTS
  6. 6. Challenges & constraints: • Time • C-level & experts have very little time, and writing well takes time • A long turnaround time increases danger of external events changing – meaning your content becomes obsolete • When you start a piece of content, aim for a 3 – 4 week turnaround time max • Political capital • When you start, it’s a new, unproven process • You need to show result and success as fast as possible to build confidence CHALLENGES AND CONSTRAINTS
  7. 7. THE BLUEPRINT
  8. 8. This process was built and refined over the years to assure: • Smooth handovers • Clear long and short term goals, to do’s, no dropped balls • Lean work: work flows in one direction only (no rework!) • Total production time of 10 – 15 hours for 800 – 1300 word blog (excl pitching) • Turnaround time 3 to 4 weeks
  9. 9. THE PLAYERS (Ghost)writer Storytelling CEO or expert Vision & leadership Corporate communication Strategy & message
  10. 10. MONITORING THE LANDSCAPE PHASE 0
  11. 11. Who? What? • Start following the news in your industry and beyond. Why? • If you want to become a thought leader – or create one in your organization – you need to know what’s going on. • What’s hot, what’s not? • Who’s new? • And so on. MONITORING THE LANDSCAPE
  12. 12. SOURCES > PEARLTREES
  13. 13. FEEDLY.COM  PEARLTREES.COM SOURCES > PEARLTREES
  14. 14. The best writing offers opinion, but is fact based. Your facts are only as good as your sources. Create a feed of sources and keep track of the best source material in Pearltrees: • Thematic & contextual • Versatile • Searchable MONITORING & BOOKMARKING
  15. 15. In industries with a lack of ‘hard news’: • HR • Communication • Design • Finance • Consulting • … It might be better to search Google Scholar for recent, surprising research. GOOGLE SCHOLAR
  16. 16. THE NEWSROOM MEETING PHASE I
  17. 17. Who? What? • 30 minute meeting Why? • To ideate 1 viable idea NEWSROOM MEETING
  18. 18. • What’s new in your industry? • What are some questions that stakeholders have asked you lately? • Which phenomena (even if marginal today) have the power to change your industry in 10, 20 or 30 years? • What are some things that you believe or know about your industry that very few people know or believe? • Are some phenomena that people in your industry misinterpret today? QUESTIONS TO ASK
  19. 19. A headline • “Here’s what everyone has wrong about Tesla” Key insights & points you want to make • “Tesla doesn’t want to be a car maker, it wants to become a market leader in energy storage” A gold medal media outlet • “It will be perfect for Quartz” OBJECTIVES:
  20. 20. NEWSROOM RULES
  21. 21. ONE EXPERT NEWSROOM RULES
  22. 22. • Multiple experts in the newsroom meeting will derail your meeting. • No “exits” for your expert: maximum social pressure. • If expert or CEO thinks they can get out from under their homework, they will try to get out from under it – and blame you for not delivering thought leadership. • Take away this false security REASONS FOR THE “ONE EXPERT” RULE
  23. 23. NEWSROOM RULES
  24. 24. ONE SUBJECT! NEWSROOM RULES
  25. 25. 1. “Cheerleader effect” for ideas • You’ll feel good about having a list of ideas, but they will be weak 2. Cumulative flow: ‘Little’s Law’ (cumulative flow) • It takes 3 weeks to finish 1 piece of content • It takes 10 weeks to finish 2 pieces of content • It takes 20 weeks to finish 3 pieces of content 3. Multiple subjects bleed into each other during research & writing 4. Multiple subjects offer an ‘exit’ for your CEO or expert • Maximum social pressure REMEMBER THE TICKING CLOCK!
  26. 26. VALIDATION PHASE PHASE II
  27. 27. Who? What? • A stress test for your idea Why? • Because of the “ridicule factor” NEWSROOM MEETING
  28. 28. STRESS TEST YOUR IDEAS
  29. 29. • Find supporting facts & proof points for your idea • Look for facts & proof points that disprove your hypothesis • “You shouldn’t fact check a good story to death” • True, but the idea should be somewhat healthy to begin with • Check the requirements of the media outlet you want to pitch • “How to be a guest writer on 11 popular sites” • Did the outlet already write this story? • (It’s more common than you think) STRESS TESTING YOUR IDEAS
  30. 30. PUT ALL YOUR FACTS IN A MIND MAP
  31. 31. MINDMEISTER.COM PUT ALL YOUR FACTS IN A MIND MAP
  32. 32. OUTLINE PHASE III
  33. 33. Who? What? • A skeleton of your story Why? • Because you’re not ready to waste time on writing NEWSROOM MEETING
  34. 34. DO YOU THINK THIS LOOK COMPLICATED?
  35. 35. THEN WHAT ABOUT THIS?
  36. 36. THE LONDON TUBE - CROWDSOURCED
  37. 37. LONDON TUBE - OUTLINED
  38. 38. 1. Information 2. Structure 3. Words & phrases AVOID REWRITES AND FRUSTRATION 1. Information 2. Structure
  39. 39. Presenting a CEO or expert with 3 layers of information will overwhelm them. People who are not used to writing will: 1. Get emotional (panic, anger, frustration) 2. Start rewriting 3. Create a mess 4. Drop the ball 5. And more bad outcomes Outlines prevent this. It’s clearly recognizable as “work in progress” and is less threatening. WHY?
  40. 40. • 7 to 12 bullet points for 1000 words • Be precise • “I will talk about the importance of backlinks for SEO” • “SEO depends 47 % on backlinks and 15 % on social signal”
  41. 41. MAXIMIZE THE STORYTELLING
  42. 42. GREAT CONTENT HAS A CLEAR GOAL – THE SUMMIT. BUT IT OFFERS TWISTS, TURNS AND SURPRISES ON THE WAY TO THE TOP. MORE HERE. MAXIMIZE THE STORYTELLING
  43. 43. BEWARE OF THE SPEEDY APPROVAL
  44. 44. SPEEDY APPROVAL OF YOUR OUTLINE = “I DIDN’T REALLY LOOK AT IT AND I WILL REWRITE YOUR DRAFT INSTEAD” BEWARE OF THE SPEEDY APPROVAL
  45. 45. Not really, but almost. Your work is 99 % done.
  46. 46. DRAFT 1 PHASE IV
  47. 47. Who? What? • A finished piece of text
  48. 48. YOU’RE AIMING FOR THIS:
  49. 49. NO DETOURS YOU’RE AIMING FOR THIS:
  50. 50. • 700 – 1300 words • Now, spend time on phrasing and wording (not too much though) • Find a good introduction to grab the reader’s attention • Find a good “sendoff” • Check headline: does it still fit? • Do you need to add a “curiosity gap”? (Don’t overdo it) Because all facts are checked and storyline is approved, writing should take 1 to 2 hours max for an experienced writer (if they were involved in earlier process – otherwise 3 to 4 probably). THE FIRST DRAFT
  51. 51. FINAL DRAFT PHASE V
  52. 52. • After feedback from CEO or expert: implement comments. Should take no more than 1 hour. • Polish the text a bit. • Proofreader (optional) • Send to graphic designer or art director (illustrations & photo) • And then:
  53. 53. YOU ARE NOW READY TO PITCH (MORE ON THAT LATER)
  54. 54. Feel free to tweet remarks to: • @rafweverbergh, @FINNbe or @kris10vermoesen Also, we’re HIRING: http://finnpr.com/about-us/are-you-interested-working-finn • Entry level PR • (Junior/Medior) Account Manager PR/PA Also, check out our all new version of Mustr, the easiest way to do stakeholder and influencer management: http://getmustr.com THANK YOU!

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