4 steps to streamline brand journalism

July 15, 2013

Streamline your content supply chain.

If you've got a big content project ahead of you, a little planning can help save time and ensure quality. We just wrapped a large-scale brand journalism project for Staples [see the results here], who needed the content on a tight turn-around. One of the ways we were able to produce quality quickly was to "gang" sources. Here's how it works:

  1. Analyze the assignments for through-lines, noting common themes and concepts across assignments. This macro view enables us to see opportunities for sources across articles.
  2. Identify sources who can address the topics best, and provide interesting points of view and actionable information in a way that resonates with the audience. Fill in coverage gaps with other high-caliber sources.
  3. Evaluate the source list to ensure there's enough diversity of opinion (and any other criteria) and that there are enough sources that it doesn't feel like you "skimped". I don't have a number or ratio, unfortunately. It's a feel. If you think you don't have enough sources, you probably don't.
  4. Develop interview questions and conduct the interviews. Tag content appropriately if you're using a CMS.

The time you invest in the beginning is still much less than the time it takes to do lots of interviews.

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