There is momentum to change the way marketing departments operate – to make them more like newsrooms. Jerry Wind and Baba Shetty recommend that the marketers of the future will have to be audience-centric, prolific and agile. Here at Scribewise, we agree; in the era of preference marketing, businesses must build trust with their audience.
However, actually making this transformation is not easy. It requires an organizational mindset shift away from pure promotion, and towards customer-centricity, i.e. delivering something the customer will find useful rather than just pushing products.
Even if/when an organization can make that mindset shift, it still can’t claim to be fully transformed into a marketing newsroom. That takes execution, day-in, day-out.
On a day-to-day basis, newsrooms operate very differently from most businesses. They can be frenetic places, but they still have organized patterns they follow every day. Here are four things newsrooms do every day that your marketing team should be doing:
Have editorial meetings every day.
Newsrooms generally review story budgets twice a day, in the morning and in mid-afternoon. Yes, that’s a lot of meetings, but done well it keeps the team united and on the same page. This is NOT to suggest you should engage in Death-by-Meeting. But you do need to make sure everyone is moving in the same direction, assignments are clear and therefore fit together without overlapping, and you’re properly “covering the news.” A once-a-week editorial meeting is a good idea and has proven successful for other content marketing teams.
Go out in the world.
Great reporters – i.e. great content producers – don’t stay locked behind closed doors. I like to say that great reporting is like playing great defense in basketball: You’ve got to move your feet. Yes, you can do a lot of research without leaving your desk, but we all know that face-to-face communications is better. Your marketing newsroom will be much more successful if your team is vigorously interacting with others in the industry, attending trade shows and conferences, and swapping and debating ideas.
Obsessively follow the news.
Newsroom employees are very aware of what is happening in the world; arriving at work ignorant of the day’s big story is a surefire way to fall behind. Your marketing team should always be aware of what is happening throughout your industry. These days that means being plugged in to social media, devouring industry press and being on top of the latest trends.
If you’re going to stay in front of the competition and lead the conversation – and thought leadership should be a primary goal of a content strategy – you need to move fast. As Shetty and Wind wrote, marketing newsrooms must be prolific. That does not mean slipshod; it means that the team must be fully engaged and have the skill to be able to create content efficiently. And, sometimes, you need to sprint. You need the right athletes on your team to be able to win. How quickly? Today, Digiday has a great breakdown of how much content various media properties produce per employee per day. Can your team members write four articles a day?
You’re right; this is a lot of work. Most businesses don’t have the organizational metabolism to execute this. But here’s the reason it matters – your customers are moving this fast already. If you don’t (or can’t) keep up, guess what happens?