Resolve to be your own publisher – using our 2011 Editorial Calendar

calendar month

Editorial calendars are tried and true tools used by media professionals in both the for-profit and do-gooder worlds. Tying an organization’s work to what’s happening in the world—be it a holiday, a legislative battle on Capitol Hill, or something more cause-specific—has long been used to create a connection with audiences.

What’s new today is the wealth of tools that allow nonprofit communicators to act as their own publishers. No longer do you have to convince an editor that your story has merit in order to get your message out. An email blast, a Facebook post, or a tweet can carry your message directly and instantly. Include a short video or some clever interactivity, and you have the makings of a viral campaign with the potential to reach millions.

To help your organization connect its stories to larger trends, we’ve created a 2011 Editorial Calendar tool, free for you to download and use. It contains our best thinking on how to tie your social change work to red letter days of all types.

▶ Download the 2011 Editorial Calendar (PDF)

Nonprofit communicators can use our 2011 Editorial Calendar to begin to craft a content strategy. It is meant to spark your creativity, allowing you to craft communications that remind your supporters why they care as well as introduce your issue to new audiences. You can forge strong personal connections with your audiences by talking about your work in terms that resonate with what is happening in their lives.

Ideally, your organization will adapt the 2011 Editorial Calendar and make it your own. Work as a team to add dates that are important to your cause such as conferences and events you’ll sponsor or attend, reports you’ll release, and legislative debates tied to your cause. You might add a few minutes to your staff meetings once a month to update the calendar with new opportunities.

In this way, your organization’s editorial calendar becomes a tool for alignment. It helps get everyone at your organization on the same page around priorities and next steps, and ensures that your communications work is tightly integrated with the day-to-day work of your organization.

Creating and using an editorial calendar is a step you can take to harness inspiration and insight in the service of greater impact for your organization and its work.

It’s a New Year’s resolution worth making—and keeping!

(image courtesy Flickr user Facubeagle, Creative Commons)
. . .
Holly Minch is LightBox Collaborative’s chief engineer and founder. She has resolved to share more tips and tools in 2011 via the LightBox Collaborative blog that do-gooders can use to help jump start thinking, create clarity, and spark action.

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Posted in *Insight, strategic communications
12 comments on “Resolve to be your own publisher – using our 2011 Editorial Calendar
  1. Holly, What a great resource. Tying content to what’s happening in your network’s world is always an advantage, and your calendar has some great suggestions for doing so.

    Thanks! I’ll spread the word.

  2. Holly Minch says:

    Thanks Nancy! Glad it’s handy and practical.

  3. Dan cohen says:

    Great stuff Lightbox crew!

  4. Nancy Audet says:

    This is great! Thanks!

  5. Julie Stofer says:

    Hi Holly – this is excellent – mind if we reprint (with your byline and a link back to here) in our online Learning Center?

  6. Sara says:

    This is so awesome! Totally what I needed. Thanks so much.

  7. Holly Minch says:

    Julie — Glad you found the tool handy and of course you are welcome to share!

  8. This is a great resource! I just shared it in a post for non profits and foundations. I hope a million folks download it. Really, nicely done.

  9. Definitely going to be incorporating some of these days/dates; thank you for sharing.

    There’s one good one you guys left out, though! :) April is Volunteer Appreciation Month, and a great opportunity for building goodwill with some of your most important supporters.

  10. Holly Minch says:

    Melinda — D’oh! How’d we miss that one?!? Yours is in an excellent addition to the list — thank you! And thanks to you all for the great feedback and for sharing the post with your networks!

  11. Thanks for the info! Our organization is focused on children, and here is an event we celebrate each year: Week of the Young Child, which is April 10-16 this year. More information is available on the NAEYC website

  12. Holly Minch says:

    Thanks Diane, another excellent addition. We’re keeping careful notes for next year’s addition! Thanks ya’ll for these great additions and keep ‘em coming!

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