Imagine you’re editor-in-chief of a large daily newspaper. You have just finished a meeting with your co-workers, you set the topics to develop for the future editions. You mentally pat yourself on the back and stretch on an armchair, feeling you did a great job.
At this very moment a manager of your company’s maintenance team storms into your office, he’s all pumped up. “We did it, we expanded the draining pipes!” he screams. “This needs to be on a front page — all the sewers will be cleaned twice as fast!” Without blinking you find the space on the front page and place this story next to the interview with Nobel Prize winner in literature. “From this day on, all the sewers are cleaned twice as fast!”
Sounds absurd, right?
And yet such situations happen everyday at your company. Brands have became publishers, you probably also have a corporate newsletter, website or fan page, right? But there’s nobody looking at the website (except for your CEO, perhaps), the posts on your fan page gather likes from the employees of your social media agency and your newsletter has around 2% open rate (that is, if you bother to measure it). Why is that?
Now imagine your chief product engineer bumps into you — the person responsible for the News section on your website and screams in your face that his team had just completed implementing new production management system. Will you publish this information on your website? The answer is… probably yes.
How do I know? According to Content Marketing Institute / Marketing Profs2015 research, only 35% of surveyed companies had their content strategy written down. Which means only the third of the people who have to say no to the chief product engineer’s request to publish have a document to support their decision. 48% of companies claim they have the strategy, but it’s not written down. Which means the quality of company’s own media channel is based on one person’s (or team’s) opinion. I would say it’s better to just admit — like 14% of surveyed companies — that the strategy is nonexistent.
Let’s go back to the beginning of our thought experiment. If your company is a medium (which it is), and if it runs its own media channels, does it have an editor-in-chief position? A person, who — just like in a regular newspaper — is accountable for readership (or viewership) of the channel? A person who — with no consequences — is able to say “I’m sorry, chief engineer, but the only way this information is included in our newsletter is over my dead body. Why? Here’s a persona of our recipient. Here’s the list of topics that interest her. Your production management system did not make it to the list so… Good bye!”
Only then, with a warm feeling that he had done great job, can Chief Content Officer lean back in his chair and think of topics for the next editons.