How to create an editorial content calendar

How to create an editorial content calendarCreating and maintaining an editorial calendar should be an integral part of any PR or marketing strategy.

But, with the ever-growing number of networks to share branded content with our audiences, keeping a well-curated editorial calendar is a daunting task. Here are a few tried-and-true ways you can simplify the process.

Creating your editorial calendar

The first steps in creating an editorial calendar that works for you are outlining the social networks to be used and the brands/blogs/etc. that you need to manage, as well as the depth of detail you need. Knowing these items will determine which services will work best for you.

If you only need to see a schedule of posts, using a traditional calendar app like Google calendar will work perfectly. You can create separate calendars for each blog or brand and color code it all to easily see when something needs to be done. Using a calendar app will also allow you to block out time for development and strategic planning.

If you prefer to see your posting schedule as a breakdown of the process behind creating and posting your content, a service like Trello may be the way to go. With Trello, you can create multiple boards for each step of your editorial process and add cards with topics, ideas or post titles as needed. Cards can be labeled with colors, assigned due dates and shifted from board to board as the piece moves through the editorial process. Drafts of posts can also be attached to the cards.

Using your editorial calendar

Once you’ve decided which type of editorial calendar you need, it’s time to fill it with your topics and ideas. A good content marketing plan is part coming up with great ideas and part actually getting the ideas posted on time. (Click to Tweet!)

Creativity and productivity often come in bursts, so it’s important to let the ideas flow, but to not run wild with posting everything at once, since consistency is almost as important as great content.

Once your editorial calendar is full of fantastic ideas and your content creation is underway, you need to plan how to get it noticed by your audience. As you’d guess, social media is a key component of this strategy.

Using a social media scheduling app, like Buffer, Hootsuite or TweetDeck, depending on your needs. Including which networks you plan to post on for each topic in your editorial calendar is a great way to keep your efforts on track and organized.

Setting aside a chunk of time each week dedicated to scheduling your social media for the week will also make being consistent so much easier. Planning is half the battle, after all!

What are your favorite tools for editorial planning? Please share in the comments below!

Robyn Rudish-LaningRobyn Rudish-Laning is a graduate of Duquesne University, with a bachelor’s in Public Relations, a master’s in Media Arts and Technology, and currently works as a PR Associate with Pretty Living PR, a boutique firm based in Pittsburgh. Find her on LinkedIn or Twitter or read her PR-focused blog

Why PR is Essential to Content Marketing

PR and marketing used to be separate. But now more and more of their job responsibilities are starting to overlap.

Image credit to

Go to a well-known public relations or marketing blog, and you’re sure to see something about content marketing. Content marketing is kind of in the spot social media found itself in a few years ago: no one agrees on who should own it.

I won’t go into my thoughts on the topic, but I will say this: successful content marketing can’t happen without some PR. And while not every marketing team needs a designated PR pro, the team’s success depends on having strong public relations skills.

Good Content Means Nothing Without Good Distribution

Sure, it’s great that you wrote an awesome ebook. But tell me this: how is your company planning on getting people to read it?

Many content marketers say you should spend twice as long promoting a piece of content than you do creating it. That may sound daunting at first,  but think about the ongoing nature of blog promotion. One hour of that promotion may be broken up into creating several one-off shares over the course of a few months.

A rounded content distribution plan might include:

  • Sharing on social media

  • Including links in a company newsletter

  • Syndicating the content on other websites

  • Optimizing the content for shares

  • Personally emailing content to interested contacts

  • Linking to content in guest posts

  • Earning inbound links to the content

  • Getting influencers to share or endorse the content

Those last four bullet points? Yeah, they take some PR savvy.


Public Relations for Content Marketing

The most important reason that content marketers need a grasp on PR is the need for relationships. PR pros are experts at building relationships – it’s one foundation of PR as a whole.

Content marketing is a whole lot easier when you have strong relationships with people who can help you get your content out there. It all boils down to knowing how to write a pitch. Let’s look at those bullet points again:

Personally Emailing Contacts

You just wrote a post about something and think several of your contacts would enjoy it. Don’t leave it to chance that they’ll see your social shares of it or find it on their own. There’s nothing wrong with sending a quick email saying you wrote something on a topic they’re interested in. But if you don’t know how to write a good pitch, you may come off sounding more pushy than helpful.

Linking to Content in Guest Posts

Guest blogging can be as valuable for content promotion as it is for personal branding. You can link to content in the body of the post, provided it’s related to what you’re talking about in the post. Or you can highlight specific content in your bio instead of including a link to, say, your blog’s home page.

But once again, to secure great guest blogging gigs, you need to know how to pitch yourself and your writing to relevant outlets.

Earning Inbound Links

Have you ever seen 10+ outlets writing articles about the same company’s recent report or whitepaper? Think about how valuable those links are, especially when they’re from authoritative, high-ranking sources.

Do you think that those publications all just fell upon that data? I’m betting that in most cases, they received a great email from the original company. It probably stressed why the report would be valuable to readers. I’ll also bet that the publications receive pitches like that a lot, and only pay attention to the good ones.

Getting Influencers On Board

I love stories where one tweet boosted a company’s subscribers or conversions by crazy amounts. It may seem like exaggeration, but it happens. Influencers can drive hundreds of visits to a small company’s website. That may be twice as many visits as they usually see.

This kind of success depends on targeting the right influencers and building a relationship with them. Then you need to show them the value in your content. If you spam them, are pushy, or use any other combination of bad pitching tactics, you’re making that success next to impossible for yourself.

So while everyone debates on whether content marketing should fall under marketing or public relations, you can focus on how to combine the two for content success.

What PR tactics do you think are most important in content marketing?


710T3ue1Brittany Berger is currently a Digital Content Supervisor at She graduated from University of Delaware in 2012 majoring in Mass Communication with a public relations focus and minoring in Interactive Media and English. Connect with her on Twitter @bberg1010.

Four Trends to Watch in Online Video Marketing

The average American is exposed to thousands of advertisements per day. In responding to this ocean of information, we’ve become skilled at selective attention and retention.


So how can you make your company stand out? The answer is a well-crafted online video. Within the next three years, it is predicted that 69% of all consumer Internet traffic will be from online video. Video is the next major frontier for marketers and PR professionals, so recognizing the trends in this realm is vital to future success. 

Know Your Audience’s Attention Span

Consumers want videos, but you have to know what consumers are willing to watch. It’s difficult to get consumers to sit down for five or ten minutes to watch your video in an online environment. At the same time, conveying a strong message in a six-second Vine or fifteen-second Instagram video might not always be possible.

Finding that happy medium, generally between one and three minutes, is ideal for conveying a message while maintaining the attention of your viewers. As Mallory Perkins, Social Media Analyst for Coca-Cola, noted at the PRSA International Conference, “we have seen that videos that are shorter in length that tend to be even a minute and a half…have worked the best.” But don’t live and die by that rule. Rules after all are meant to be broken. If your media assets are only strong enough to produce 45 seconds worth of solid video content, or if the video is super engaging at 7 minutes, go with it!

It’s All About the Content Marketing

Consumers won’t seek out or spend time watching traditional marketing advertisements aimed at selling something, regardless of the quality, length or message. However, consumers are more willing to engage when there’s other value for them—in other words, if it is a content marketing video.

Clients no longer want their videos to be over branded. They want viewers to take in the message first and then associate that message with their brand or organization. Without the sales message in the forefront, consumers become much more trusting and more willing to watch the video, leading to higher levels of engagement with the customers and a better relationship with the brand. Check out some great examples of content marketing here. One of my personal favorite partnerships in content video is between Acura and the web series: Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee by Jerry Seinfeld.

Multi-Platform Accessibility is Key

As mobile capabilities continue to expand, so, too, will the demand for content that is optimized for all technological platforms. Quality, loading times and viewer size all vary by platform. And while those stats you put in the corner of your video appear completely legible on tablets and laptops, it won’t be very easy to read on a phone with a four-inch screen. Consumers depend much more heavily on mobile platforms than they ever have before, so making sure your video is viewable whether it’s on a four-inch screen or a fourteen-inch screen is vital to video marketing success.

Sharing is Caring

No matter how well made or interesting a marketing video is, if consumers aren’t engaging with the video, it won’t gain the exposure it needs to have an effect on the brand. Social networks are an excellent way to gauge the effectiveness of a video. Not only can you track how many people have seen your video, but you can read what they’re saying about it and see whether they consider it to be “share-worthy.” A good video marketing strategy usually is accompanied by a solid distribution strategy.

Has your company had success with video marketing? What worked well and why do you think it was a success?


Tod Plotkin is the Principal of Green Buzz Agency which serves as a video content creator for brands like Hilton Worldwide, Under Armour, and Cisco Systems. Tod also organizes the largest annual Marketing conference in our nation’s capital called What’s Next DC. Feel free to connect with him on LinkedInIf you are interested in applying to a PR, Marketing, Social Media, Event Planning, or Video Production internship at GBA send your resume to

October Twitter Chat Highlights: Content + PR

We’d like to thank everyone who participated in the October #NPPRSA Twitter chat to discuss the convergence of content marketing and public relations.

Specifically, we’d like to thank special guest for the month, PR Daily, one of the industry’s top resources for public relations news, strategy and advice.  Join us in November for a special #NPPRSA chat to kick off National New Professionals Week. Chapters are invited to plan an event for local new pros, submit it to the PRSA New Professionals Week event listing and join in the fun November 11-15.

Review highlights of the chat below.

What did you learn from the October chat? How can content marketing enhance your public relations efforts? What are your favorite content marketing best practices?


Lauren Rosenbaum is the Public Relations Director at BrickPixel, a web design and marketing consultancy. She is the Co-Founder of Soversity, a public relations and digital marketing company. You can connect with her on Google+LinkedIn or Twitter.