Creating an editorial schedule

The linchpin of content management

No goal without a plan
„A goal without a plan is just a wish.“
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Could you imagine a life without your appointment diary? Would you remember all the birthdays? And never forget a family reunion? No? We wouldn’t either. 

But that doesn’t only apply to your personal life – the success of your online presence depends on having a good plan, too. Chaotic posts, haphazard publications and the infamous “off-the-top-of-one’s-head” mentality lead to disorganized content management. To make sure your website remains interesting for your readers in the long run, you need a roadmap. But what does it look like and what do you need to include? 

Generally speaking: Every online presence is different. But there are a few aspects that apply across the board. 

Topic overview

The editorial calendar can easily be created in an Excel sheet. Start with jotting down all basic info in the first columns. Which days do you want to publish on? Are there any company highlights or seasonal topics that you want to include? Which formats do you use? Who’s responsible for creating the content? For instance: write down that you want to publish an article on the topic of “editorial schedules” on 15 February. 
Mitarbeiterinnen beim Ausarbeiten einer Online-Strategie. | © punkt & komma

Content use

Afterwards, you allocate the topics to different media channels. Where do you want to publish the article from 15 February? On Facebook, Twitter or Google+? Is your article published on your blog? Should it feature in your newsletter? This allows you to make sure that you don’t forget anything and that you’re present on all the channels that your target audience is using. 

Important: Don’t just copy your content across all channels! Keep in mind that a great press release might do more harm than good on a blog. Instead, come up with relevant, target-audience-specific and platform-appropriate content. 
Das punkt & komma-Büro mit Mitarbeiterin im Hintergrund.  | © punkt & komma

Production info

If you don’t know your goal, no path is the right one (quote from the Koran). 

Everyone has an objective in mind that they would like to achieve with their public relations. So: What are the expectations you have of your content? Should it increase your reach, generate likes or get more people to sign up for your newsletter? And most importantly: When is your deadline? Because without a deadline, your post is but one thing: dead. 

Sounds boring to you? Inflexible and too strict? No worries – just because something looks good at the beginning of the month, it doesn’t mean you can’t change your mind. An editorial schedule is intended to give you a sense of security – it shouldn’t become the rope you hang yourself on. 

You’ll still be able to adjust your plans if more opportune alternatives or altered situations crop up. 

Why should you put an effort into an editorial schedule when things can change overnight? The benefits might not be obvious, but you only have to a look into your wallet to see them. Because an amazing editorial schedule saves you time and thus money. No more “Let’s write a blog post – quick!” or “Has anyone posted anything on Facebook today?”. One look at your editorial schedule is enough and you’ll know exactly what’s going on. It also gives you plenty of time to create high-quality content on seasonal topics and helps you to coordinate them. 

The benefits of an editorial schedule at a glance:

  • a detailed overview of your various activities 
  • easy assessment of the effectiveness of your marketing measures 
  • no long breaks in communication 
  • mistakes and double posts can be avoided or discovered in time 
  • content can be planned ahead which saves money 
  • responsibilities can be better allocated 
  • more reasonable resource planning 

As you can see: The benefits speak for themselves. And since it’s still the beginning of the year, you can add “creating an editorial schedule” to your list of new year’s resolutions!

Recommended articles