[responsive][/responsive]These days the barrier to entry into content publishing is ridiculously low. That’s a terrific thing, and a terrifying prospect. If your company is engaging in brand marketing with content, solid editorial oversight is critical.
Yet, maybe because of the low barriers to entry, this oversight is often haphazard or neglected. And the potential risks are huge.
“Take it from someone who worked as a freelance journalist for more than a decade—the editor is the biggest barrier to selling a story and seeing your work in print,” writes Sarah Mitchell in Communication World. “There isn’t a newspaper, radio station or TV station in the world that doesn’t rank editorial control crucial to quality publishing and broadcasting. But business, by and large, ignores this role or, worse, doesn’t understand it.”
“Depending on the size of your organization, you may have just one editor or a number of section editors reporting to a managing editor,” Mitchell continues. “If you don’t currently employ an editor, smart money says you’re not really operating as a brand newsroom.”
Let that sink in for a minute. If you don’t have an editor on staff, your brand journalism is lacking. And not just because there may be typos or bad facts lurking in your content – although that is a concern, to be sure.
“Editing starts with the audience in mind. Your editor sets the tone of voice for your publications. They find writers. They create editorial and writing guidelines. They keep an editorial calendar and often work weeks or months in advance. In broadcasting, they work closely with producers. They fend off numerous pitches and queries from writers who want space in your publications. All this is done before a word is ever written,” Mitchell explains.
There is an art to effective content publishing, as well as a science. It is the editor who gracefully melds the two and creates an effective body of content. You need one.
“Hire an editor. Understand the different types of editors and make sure you’re using them effectively. Give your editors the power to make decisions, kill stories and ask writers to respect your readers. Not only will it set you apart, you’ll be rewarded with brand loyalists who keep coming back for more. If you really nail your editorial, they’ll even pay you for the pleasure of reading your branded content,” Mitchell writes.
Take a hard look at your content creation process and the people involved, and make sure your editorial talent is up to the task. You’ll be a better brand for it.