2015-ed-cal-photoLightBox Collaborative is very proud to present our 5th Annual Editorial Calendar.

This milestone year reminds us that anniversaries are a great time to reflect on the past and look toward the future. In fact, some of the anniversaries featured in the calendar (Amelia Earhart crosses the Pacific! Supreme Court strikes down DOMA!) might be the right time for you to highlight your great work.

But how on earth do you find those milestones? Fear not! We have done the heavy lifting for you, and you can find it all by downloading your own copy of the Editorial Calendar. In it you will find scores of interesting hooks to use to drive your social media planning or to interest traditional media in your projects. And it’s all stored in a handy interactive, multiuser tool so you can edit, share and execute across your team.

Over the last five years, many organizations we work with have put these tools to excellent use:

  • We worked with Kaiser Northwest to provide communications training assistance to their grantees working on healthy, local food issues. The Marion County Health Department had an initiative to help corner stores sell healthier foods, but had not been able to gain attention to drive customers to these new options. Frustrated, they were considering using their slim budget to buy advertising to promote the program. But together, we realized that October 16 is World Food Day. Using that as a hook, they held World Food Day events in corner stores promoting the program and healthy food options. The hook worked – earning the program front-page stories in the local newspapers.

So, what are your ideas? What are the days of the year that will help connect people to your values and excite them about your impact? The LightBox Collaborative 2015 Editorial Calendar is a great starting place to jump-start your planning for next year. We have been adding more hooks each year, so the calendar has grown more and more robust. If it includes more hooks than are relevant for your work, just delete! Use only what works for you. And of course, be sure to add the unique hooks that connect to your work.

Just remember one caveat: The Editorial Calendar is a great tactical tool that can help you align your team and manage your media. But it is no replacement for strategy! You still need to be clear about your GAME plan: what does success look like for your communications? What audiences do you need to connect to reach your goals? What messages will motivate those audiences, and what are the best vehicles to deliver them?

With smart strategy and planning made easy through the Editorial Calendar, you can make the most out of your communications efforts in 2015, no matter your size or budget.

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Photo courtesy of flickr user Philip Chapman-Bell

Amanda Cooper is a LightBox collaborator who hopes an editorial calendar helps you leverage your organization’s stories for more wins.