Everyone has heard some variation on the quote comparing the process of making laws to that of making sausages. Ask PR professionals and they’d likely agree the same simile applies to press releases.
If you’ve ever had to draft a news release with the help of a team, you know that the process can be much more complicated than anyone usually expects.
At first glance, drafting 400-500 words of marketing magic to promote your brand shouldn’t be that difficult. However, it’s usually not quite as simple as typing out a few SEO-optimized paragraphs, writing a tweetable headline, choosing some multimedia assets, slapping your company’s boilerplate at the end and calling it a day.
There are often rounds of edits, approvals from multiple stakeholders, changes, more approvals — and that’s all before the release even makes it to your organization’s legal department.
Managing this process is not a simple task, particularly when you are working with different teams and other companies. Here are a few tips to help you manage a press release project that involves several parties.
1. Get organized. This might be obvious, but make sure you know what a project requires before you start assigning tasks to your team or colleagues. Will there be photos or video? Who is creating these assets? Who needs to approve a final draft before distribution?
Knowing who is responsible for what and messaging that to everyone involved helps give the project context. Work with your team to set deadlines and be prepared to hold everyone accountable–and hold yourself accountable to your teammates.
2. Develop a workflow for the recurring projects you expect each year. Know which releases will happen every year so you can come up with a procedure. For example, knowing who is responsible for different aspects of a product launch announcement will make it easier to assign tasks each time a similar project arises.
Things like personnel announcements, award wins and other types of content promotion will be a regular part of your calendar, so be prepared by having a basic process in place for these different types of projects.
Of course, there’s an exception to every rule: You will encounter a project that doesn’t fit into your standard workflow, so it’s important to stay flexible as you develop processes.
3. Pick a point person. If you are going to be collaborating with several teams, either internally or externally, pick one person to be the main point of contact for each team or stakeholder. This will (hopefully!) minimize inbox bloat resulting from reply-all emails, and will keep things from getting too complicated and confusing. If you are working with more than a handful of teams, asking someone to run point for multiple teams is also helpful.
4. Avoid getting “lost in translation” by making sure you communicate the project details with all parties involved. Try asking people to explain to you what their responsibilities are to root out any misunderstandings. This will help ensure that everyone’s expectations are clear and that all team members are held accountable for their assigned tasks.
5. Check in regularly. It doesn’t matter how much you plan ahead, everything can come undone with one missed deadline. Make sure to keep everyone up-to-date on the project’s status and your teammates’ progress so you can adjust deadlines and tasks along the way. Don’t overdo it, of course–nobody likes feeling micromanaged. But consistent, timely updates will benefit all parties involved as you strive to create a successful campaign.
While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to managing a project with several stakeholders, these tips should help things run smoothly.
What advice do you have for managing press releases and other PR projects? Let us know in the comments!
This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: 5 Tips For Managing Your Press Release Workflow
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