This Guide will enable you to:
Editorial and content teams need structure in order to thrive. A well-structured content group is far more likely to operate efficiently, generate better ideas and create consistent systems to produce expert-level content. Clear roles and responsibilities and reporting structures mean content teams that are self-sufficient and feedback systems that are robust.
The biggest challenge for content teams is figuring out how to balance efficiency with creating good stories. The way this generally shows up in these kinds of organizations is in the balance of content “creators” to managers. In publishing parlance, that means the ratio of writers to editors.
While organizations want to skew towards creating more and managing less, they often tend to do just the opposite. One of the factors that makes organizing content groups more difficult is that there are unique facets to editorial organizations, which means they need to often be organized in a different way from other departments. Work is often produced faster and more often, feedback has to be given much more regularly in the form of editing, and content is always changing. Because brand publishing must be created consistently to be successful, it’s important for teams to be structured in a way that creates momentum and doesn’t stall progress.
Structuring can also be particularly difficult for content groups that sit within larger corporate organizations, for example, a marketing and communications group inside a Fortune 500 company, or a publishing organization inside a PR company.
The good news is that there are now, a variety of viable ways to build, organize and grow an editorial team. A well-optimized and well-structured editorial organization is now a competitive advantage for any business that wants to grow its bottom line. More importantly, a poorly optimized editorial operation presents significant business risk in a difficult and rapidly changing industry.
In its ideal form, an editorial structure allows each person within it to do their best possible work. It aligns their interests with those of the organization as a whole, it makes their roles and responsibilities clear and it ensures everyone is pulling in the same direction with successful results.
To structure a brand publishing team effectively, companies should:
- Understand the roles and responsibilities of key editorial and publishing staffers: Having clearly defined roles and responsibilities will ensure that people know what they’re responsible for, and also let managers add resources where they’re necessary.
- Understand the pros and cons of various organizational structures: The same structure doesn’t necessarily work for all teams. A reporting structure should be chosen based on resources, expertise levels and overall goals, and also changed and reconfigured when necessary.
- Implement these structures to create a successful brand publishing team: Teams should implement (and then periodically assess) structures to improve efficiency and create the best possible work.
This Guide outlines ways of organizing a brand publishing team, focusing on creating an efficient way to generate a deep well of content, with just the right amount of editing. It also covers job roles. It’s a practical manual designed to consider flexibility, depending on the size, nature, purpose, goals and other unique factors of a company. This Guide will help improve the organization and structure of a company’s content operation and will provide clear and actionable ideas that can be put into practice, immediately.
Defining job roles and responsibilities
Job roles can be tricky to delineate. Depending on the type of organization, there can be a plethora of different titles for people who work on creating, editing or even designing and concepting content. The following section breaks down the type of roles brand publishing teams should have, at a minimum, to create successful and efficient content operations.