So, you’ve convinced the Big Dogs at your organization that content marketing is the smartest way to establish your brand and build a program that will grow the company. Awesome. Congrats. And now, your brand newsroom is up and running. Which means that, if it’s like most newsrooms, things are not perfect. Which is okay – newsrooms can be chaotic places; even when they’re functioning well it can be messy. Hence, the saying that people who like sausage and news should never watch either being made.
But now you’re living it, and you’re likely bumping into some obstacles. Every new venture does. Here are some of the biggest challenges brand newsrooms encounter, and some clues on how to overcome them:
The challenge of creating great content.
It’s easy to get caught up in feeding the beast and churning out content just to fill the news hole. Worse, a lot of organizations are still focused on SEO keyword-laden drivel (please stop this now – Google hates you for it… and so does your audience). So focus on creating great content that your audience is craving.
The challenge of creating great content quickly.
News moves fast, and brand newsrooms need to move at a pace that is usually much faster than businesses are accustomed to. However, it’s important to create content quickly – most newsworthy content fades in relevance over time. For instance, two weeks ago was a great time to write a story with a doctor’s take on Bob Costas’ pink eye at the Olympics. Today, it’s pretty much forgotten. Relevance = Quality + Timing. When “news breaks,” brand newsrooms need to react. This does not mean you have to blast out instant reaction pieces within minutes of something happening, but it does mean you need to be able to meet your audience’s attention span with timely content. The best way to enable your organization to do this is to hire professional journalists.
The challenge of getting approvals.
According to Contently, one financial services firm in particular requires an astonishing 53 approvals before posting something to Facebook, and one well-known Consumer Packaged Goods company needed a team of 13 people to send a single Super Bowl tweet. You can’t operate a newsroom this way. You also can’t completely ignore a company’s existing rules and regulations. Creating a workable approval process is critical for an effective brand newsroom, and often requires creativity, not to mention trust from the C-suite.
The challenge of building the right audience.
Great content needs an audience. Distribution is critical. This requires an expertise in social media, email marketing, media relations and content syndication. Importantly, the goal is not to build a huge audience; it’s to build the audience that makes sense for your business. After all, this is marketing, and the ultimate goal of building an audience is to boost the business.
The challenge of maintaining internal support.
It’s one thing to convince the heads of your organization that creating a brand newsroom is smart business. It’s another to keep their confidence six months into it when you’re just starting to get traction and they’re wondering when the sales are going to be rolling in. To keep their confidence requires setting expectations at the outset, and frequent reporting on agreed upon metrics.
These are just a few of the obstacles brand newsroom managers will encounter; successfully navigating them requires planning and, more importantly, it requires day-in, day-out vigilance.
After all, the news watch never stops.