Snapshot: April 21, 2019

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Handmade bowls created by AdrianMartinus Design, out of discarded and reclaimed skateboards in Calgary AB, Canada

Contemplating

 
When I say “community,” I mean social community and natural community. I do not mean that you and I are in a community together because we both drive a Subaru. I mean it when we have a shared fate, we know we have a shared fate, and we conduct ourselves as if we have a shared fate.
— Zita Cobb, Founder & CEO, The Shorefast Foundation, Fogo Island, Newfoundland
 

Reading

  • Seth Godin has doubled down on his concept of focusing your emerging business on the smallest market possible or “minimum viable audience” in his latest book, This is Marketing. Here’s a good video summary of the book, which includes a rethink for many of what marketing is and isn’t.

  • Imagine a bookstore that charges a $15 daily entry fee … and stocks only one copy of each book! Enter the new Bunkitsu bookshop in the Rappongi district of Toyko Japan that carries only books and magazines — no music, homewares, toys, etc. — in addition to a café.

Seeing & Listening

Learning

Doing

Etc.

Think Like a Print Media Publisher: Whether it’s called time chunking, task grouping or time-blocking (or something else), I always advise marketing, communications, and digital content groups (who seem to be stuck in a cycle of last-minute content pushes and corrections to their websites and social media feeds) to think like a print media publisher. Here are the basics of how print media publishers have always grouped their tasks to be more efficient.

  • Regular publishing time and day - Plan which time of day, which day of the week, and which day of month different types of (non-emergency) content will be published. (Hint: there is very rarely any true emergency content, just last-minute content publishing requests!) For example, I usually advise that non-news website updates get pushed on Thursdays after lunch. It’s an efficient use of someone’s time to publish a bunch of content all at once as they get into a productivity flow … and if something goes wrong with technology, there is still Friday left to make a fix and publish that week. I advise the same type of pre-planning and “chunked publishing” be done for social media feeds, even when content scheduling tools like Hootsuite are in use.

  • Set submission criteria for content providers - If your organization’s teams want to provide content about product launches, recent client wins, or service updates for your website and social media feeds — save yourself a headache and provide them with a template that walks them through what you need in terms of the minimum content standards, writing style, length, media file formats, links etc. … so that they prep a bunch of the work up front. If they don’t do the prep work, they don’t get published that week; instead, they get coaching on how to prepare content for the website, etc.

  • Form a multi-disciplinary editorial board, with clear responsibilities, and regular meeting cadence - Editorial boards determine what gets published and what gets prioritized according to the strategy they set. They determine publishing standards, approve major content, and keep an eye on the budget. When part of my team managed a website inside a global multinational, setting up an editorial board comprised of key representatives from marketing, PR, product, sales and a member of the executive group was critical to raising the standards of efficiency, quality … as well as aligning teams on the business strategy for the website and other media. I advise that about 6-8 people be named to an organization’s Publishing Editorial Board and have the role as part of their job function for a year. Set and circulate an agenda, keep minutes as with any board meeting, delegate projects to sub-committees. Attendance (monthly?) is required (videoconf or in person) with a colleague sent in anyone’s place who is ill or on vacation.

    The positive impact of formalizing the editorial planning process for your website and other media cannot be overstated!