Mastering Editorial Process: Step-by-Step Approach to Content Promotion

13 February 2024
Reading: 6 min

You may have heard that there’s more to content than just writing and editing. There is also structure, and there are processes… What are those processes and how editorial workflow is different from the rest? After reading this article, not only will you understand that, but also how to initiate and design editorial processes, apply proper algorithms, and maintain them after launch.

Mastering Editorial Process: Step-by-Step Approach to Content Promotion

What editorial processes are 

Editorial processes refer to the established guidelines followed by editorial and horizontal departments in the creation, editing, reviewing, and publishing of consistently produced content. 

These processes are designed to ensure consistency, quality, accuracy, and adherence to established guidelines in various forms of media, such as articles, blogs, and more. Without written procedures, it is difficult for the team to stay organized and on track. They are crucial for maintaining control and efficiency in a constantly changing environment.

Why do we need editorial processes

Editorial processes establish specific actions and rules of interaction with the team and departments, which enable the editorial team to deliver results more clearly. They serve as a roadmap to prevent getting lost. More specifically, editorial processes are needed for: 

  • Collaboration. Editorial processes facilitate collaboration between different team members and departments involved in content creation. By providing clear guidelines and processes, team members can work together more effectively and ensure that all aspects of content creation are addressed.
  • Accountability. By defining roles, responsibilities, and workflows, editorial processes help establish accountability within the team. Team members know what is expected of them and can be held accountable for meeting deadlines and quality standards.
  • Efficiency. Having established editorial processes streamlines the content creation workflow, making it more efficient and reducing the chances of delays or errors. This can help save time and resources, allowing the team to focus on creating high-quality content.
  • Consistency. Editorial processes help ensure consistency in content production, style, tone, and quality. This consistency is important for maintaining the brand voice and identity across all content published by the organization.
  • Onboarding. It’s easier to onboard new employees when there is turnover or permanent hiring. You don’t have to explain all the processes, practices, and rules to everyone separately. You just provide a hub with documents, walk through the process, and answer any clarifying questions.

Mastering Editorial Process: Step-by-Step Approach to Content Promotion

When to launch editorial processes

Editorial processes are like a bridge between the blind “doing” of something and the goal. Each process should facilitate movement towards the end of the bridge — the goal. There are no universal processes — they all depend on the specifics and purpose of the company.

For example, editorial processes are unnecessary when working on a one-off project — you just need a plan with milestones to agree on intermediate results.

Mastering Editorial Process: Step-by-Step Approach to Content Promotion

But you can realize it’s time to implement editorial processes when you need to:

  • Perform routine tasks consistently and accurately
  • Ensure that all team members are confident in producing quality content
  • Manage projects that require various formats and specialized capabilities
  • Facilitate seamless collaboration with designers, editors, and marketers
  • Meet the demand for diverse content from the editorial team
  • Prepare for future growth and the need to hire additional staff

How to launch editorial processes

Launching editorial processes involves careful planning and execution to ensure efficiency and effectiveness. Here are some steps to help you launch editorial processes successfully.

Analyze the current situation

You can’t build an intelligent editorial process based on theoretical knowledge of how to run it. The process is always based on an analysis of the company: 

  • What content it produces
  • How each content format is produced
  • With whom each unit is coordinated
  • How content is approvedThe number of approvals needed in a startup, a medium-sized company, and a corporation is very different and affects the time it takes to produce content.
  • How long it takes for designers, developers, editors, or layout designers to do their job
  • Where the editorial team is stumbling right now

Start with a minor process

Begin by designing a single minor process, rather than tackling the entire production. This approach will allow you to test the waters and gauge the flexibility of the team, as well as identify any areas of resistance. If the small process doesn’t yield the desired results, no problem — the stakes are low and no significant damage will occur. 

Build a process skeleton based on data

Once we have an understanding of how the company and the editorial staff work, it’s time to implement the processes. Global processes pose a high level of risk. If you incorrectly allocate less time, you may end up having to report to stakeholders about unmet KPIs.

It’s better to proceed with caution: begin by outlining important processes in a concise, skeletal manner.

Then assess whether the author comprehends the task, how much time the editor needs for coordination, and how much time is required to finalize the plan. Is everything running smoothly? Is anything malfunctioning? Based on this data, you can then develop the detailed process.

Mastering Editorial Process: Step-by-Step Approach to Content Promotion

What to do when processes are launched

Getting it up and running is only part of the job. It’s important to follow up on processes: 

  • Observe
  • Adjust as the company changes
  • Communicate value to the team

This should be done by the person responsible for the processes. But it’s unlikely that one person in a large editorial office will be able to control everything — you’ll have to delegate it to your team.

Communicate the value of the processes in a meeting

A meeting is perceived as an event: the team schedules time for it, prepares for it (in the best-case scenario), listens to the speaker, and asks questions.

An event typically garners more attention — it is evidently more significant than a message in a task tracker. The team actively engages with the event and seeks clarification — which is why they are more likely to remember the information shared during the event.

It’s not enough to just send a document. One person may misunderstand the thesis, another may skim through it and miss details, and a third may not open it at all. If something can go wrong, it will go wrong. That’s why it’s important to communicate verbally.

Conduct an audit of processes

Get together as a team and once a month (or week) discuss on a global scale the issues. Points to discuss during these meetings:

  • Confirm whether marketers, designers, and project managers are accurately familiar with and adhering to the processes
  • Evaluate how well new team members understand and comply with the processes
  • Gather feedback on new processes or modifications to existing ones
  • Discuss the overall comfort level of the team and gather general feedback

If you work in a large corporation, it is advisable to reach out to related departments to gather their feedback as well.

By following these steps and implementing a structured approach, you can successfully launch editorial processes that support your content creation efforts and drive business objectives.

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