5 steps to streamline your editorial operation

If you’re starting a communications department, or looking to improve the one you’re already managing, here are must-do items for your checklist.

Let’s hear it for all the editors.

Editors are the unsung heroes of communication. In many organizations, they go by fancier, capitalized names, such as Director of Internal Communications or Senior Vice President for Corporate and Public Affairs.

Whatever their titles, these people are responsible for organizing a communications staff, setting up its operations and editorial processes, and then making sure it all works. To me, they are running newsrooms, and that makes them editors.

Here are five steps to help your editorial operation run the way it should.

1. Figure out your editorial mission, write it down and share it.

Why does communications exist at your organization? Did someone just decide to have a communications department because all the other companies were doing it?

Many editors find themselves caught in this trap, in part because they’ve never defined the communications function. In their companies, communications is organized around one overriding principle: We’ve always done it this way (even though none of us can remember why), and we always will.

2. Write some editorial guidelines. Without them, you become everyone’s private publisher, handling trivial requests and duties instead of focusing on how communications might actually support your enterprise.

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