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Beat Content Dry Spells with Content Calendars

Maybe it’s the summer heat, maybe it’s the fluorescent lighting in your office while the sun’s outside your window… You’re uninspired.

You’ve got a mean case of writer’s block. Content for your blog, newsletter, and social media feeds all seem to be half baked or not baked at all.

The good news: You can take matters into your own hands and escape the clutches of writer’s block with just a few simple steps.

 

Step 1: Brainstorm

Who are you talking to? What do they want to know?

Think back to that slew of emails you received last December about snow days.

Remember the concerned parents asking about bus routes last August?

What are your FAQ’s? Take note of your target audience and when they’ll want information.

Then, think of what should have been asked, but was not. That’s the stuff your community doesn’t know they need to know.

For example, when summer rolls around, it’s probably a good idea to promote some content about learning loss or educational activities for kids to do at home.

Finally, consider the common objections you’ve encountered. A quick look at replies on Twitter and comments on Facebook can get you what you need.

 

Step 2: Develop a List of Go-To’s

Check out your inbox and outbox – what did you flag, star, or favorite?

Follow your favorite professional journals, news sites, and thought leaders on social media to stay up to date on what they’re posting.

The “save for later” feature on Facebook is a great option for when you spot something worth noting, but don’t have time to check out just yet.

Ask around for podcast and blog recommendations from other communication professionals. You can probably even conduct this research poolside if you’re craving a taste of the summertime.

Consolidate your research with an RSS feed. We recommend Feedly.

Yearlong tip: Place emails worth emulating into a file in your email. Don’t copy them, but snag some inspiration where you can and beef things up with some independent research.

 

Step 3: Build Your Content Calendar

Constructing a content calendar at least twice a year – ideally once a quarter – can save you from numerous headaches later.

Use an app like Trello or Asana to consolidate ideas and incorporate your whole team in your content plan.

You can also map out your calendar on Google Calendar or an excel sheet. Share your plan with all individuals involved in the community relations process.

Your content calendar ought to be used as a guide, not a strict plan. Breaking news will happen. You can adjust it accordingly.

 

Happy planning!

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