Set Your Communications Agenda with LightBox Collaborative’s 2013 Editorial Calendar

setting the agendaThe LightBox Collaborative 2013 Editorial Calendar is here!

Three years ago, we released our first editorial calendar with the hopes that our fellow nonprofit communicators would be inspired to think of new and interesting ways to get their message out, essentially acting as their own publisher.

Since then, this practical tool has received great feedback and praise from our colleagues:

Beth Kanter, author of Beth’s Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media and co-author of “The Networked Nonprofit” says “It’s not every day that you come across high quality content shared freely with the community – it helps lift all the boats.”

Nelson Layag, Training Director of CompassPoint Nonprofit Services says “Having an editorial calendar has anchored a team-based approach to communications. It’s given structure to what was a wild wild west approach to reaching out to our community.” (Nelson offers more insights on CompassPoint’s experience here on Kivi Leroux Miller’s excellent blog   

If you are new to the concept of an editorial calendar, it is a user-friendly tool for mapping relevant, compelling content to your media channels. Since the Calendar is presented as a Google spreadsheet, you can tailor it to keep your team informed and aligned about communications opportunities. Our colleagues and clients who use the tool also find that it sparks new ideas from staff, especially when customized with your team’s work plan. For example, our colleagues at VolunteerMatch used the tool as an inspiration to create their 2012 volunteer engagement calendar.

This year, we’ve further refined this handy tool, and tested it with a number of our clients. So now the 2013 version has twice the hooks to inspire nonprofit communications. Download a copy now and add your own calendar hooks, program dates, events and other important dates that your organization can leverage for successful communications. Read last year’s blog post for more details.

Let us know what dates you think we should have on the 2013 radar. And we look forward to hearing your tips on how you customized your 2013 editorial calendar.

P.S.: We’ll update the Editorial Calendar mid-year, and will share other tips and tools for content strategy, so sign up for inbox delivery to stay up to date.

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Photo courtesy of The New Sales Coach.

Holly Minch  is LightBox’s founder and hopes the 2013 Editorial Calendar helps you achieve greater communications impact during the coming year. 

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Posted in *Impact, public relations, social media, strategic communications
25 comments on “Set Your Communications Agenda with LightBox Collaborative’s 2013 Editorial Calendar
  1. Jen Ancona says:

    This is totally awesome!! Thanks so much!!

  2. SB says:

    Thanks so much for this handy tool! Tech Question — once I download it, how do I upload it to share with my team. Do I have to recreate it from scratch? Sorry for being so non-techie about this! I just want to use it as a shared google doc w./o having to retype the hooks you have already entered, because they are good ones!

  3. YAY! Just got on here to see if the 2013 editorial calendar was out. And here it is! Thank you for this excellent tool!

  4. This is a great resource. Lightbox folks are providing a real service here.

  5. John Kenyon says:

    In order to help focus their online communications, I recommend every nonprofit have an editorial calendar. This is a great tool to help them do just that, thanks for sharing it!

  6. andreaminadakis says:

    Thanks, everyone. Excited to see that this year’s editorial calendar making so many of our colleagues happy.
    @SB – re: sharing via Google drive: Download and save editorial calendar, then go to Drive landing page, there should be a red “Create” box on the left with an upload icon in a smaller box. Click the upload icon and upload the calendar. You might have some formatting issues, but all the content should be there.

  7. Thank you for this tool, as an independent blogger and the director of digital strategy for a private women’s college this will be incredibly helpful in 2013! Thank you so much fo making it available for free!!

  8. B says:

    What does “hooks to calendar” mean?

  9. Jen Exoo says:

    I’ve been looking for something like this, exactly what we needed to keep our content ideas organized, thanks so much for a great template/tool!

  10. Cynthia says:

    Such a great practical resource for nonprofits!

  11. Just wanted to share my thanks for sharing your work. It’s appreciated!

  12. Thanks. My wheels are spinning.

    What are some interesting uses for hooks? Are you integrating with other Google Docs or Apps? with your site?

  13. Lauren Girardin says:

    Using an Editorial Calendar is often a spark for lots of other creative efficiencies to the editorial process. With our clients, we’ve seen folks move their Editorial Calendar to more robust project management software, like Trello, or layer on another tool, like Google Calendar. It’s really about adapting the tool to your organization’s unique content production and approval process!

  14. Lauren Girardin says:

    Hooks are those special events, red-letter dates, anniversaries, milestones, or other timely opportunities that you can build your content around. Check out the Editorial Calendar for a year’s worth of hook ideas and customize it by adding hooks that are important to your organization’s work.

  15. Anthea Rowe says:

    I downloaded the calendar this morning. Looking forward to populating it!

    (Heard about it at Beth’s Blog

  16. Well done! The descriptions are very clever.

    Please consider adding the following dates to the calendar.
    November 14th – World Diabetes Day
    month of November – Big Blue Test –
    February 27th – Charles Herbert Best’s birthday – He’s the other person who discovered insulin.

    March 26 – Diabetes Alert Day –

  17. Elaine Chen says:

    Beautifully done–thank you for this excellent planning tool! Please consider for future versions:
    1st week of March in National Consumer Protection Week
    4th week of April is National Crime Victims’ Rights Week
    May is Older Americans’ Month
    June 15 World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
    July 26 is the Americans with Disabilities Act Anniversary
    In September, the 1st Sunday after Labor Day is Grandparents Day
    October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and (Long-Term Care) Residents’ Rights Awareness Month
    November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and National Family Caregivers Month.

    Thanks again–we are taking a much more thoughtful approach to our outreach strategies using your editorial calendar!

  18. Lauren Girardin says:

    Thanks Elaine! We’ll definitely look to incorporate those events into the next update of our nonprofit Editorial Calendar template.

    Glad to hear the Editorial Calendar is helping the The Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse and Neglect take a more strategic communications approach!

  19. Celia Alario says:

    Been using this for the upcoming Summit!

    It rocks!

  20. Shannon says:

    October is also Disability Awareness month.

  21. vamessa says:

    national recycling day is nov 15.

  22. Liz says:

    Will there be a 2014 version? It’s SO helpful!

  23. Margaret Murray says:

    Any news on 2014’s calendar?

  24. Sheila Dirickson says:

    We’ve just published the 2104 version. We hope this tool continues to be useful. Let us know what you think!

  25. Sheila Dirickson says:

    Hi Margaret,

    We hope you find the 2014 helpful. Let us know what you think!

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