Mandy Collins & Associates

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What magazine editors know about content planning and agility

When planning your content, take a note from magazine editorial teams, who plan their monthly features several months in advance.

Magazines have an editorial diary that provides a kind of roadmap of what each issue contains, but the key to this roadmap is that it’s subject to detours. In other words – things change.

The world changes, the zeitgeist changes, the competition covers a story you’d planned, advertisers jump on board, or leave – and then you have to be adaptable. You have to be ruthless about dumping some things, adding others, or changing the angle on something.

Content works exactly the same way. You can plan to align with World Whatever Day, but by the time it rolls around, you may have nothing new to add, or it may feel inappropriate to jump on that particular b(r)andwagon. (Happy Youth Day, South African brands? Really?) Be agile enough to change that content plan.

Just don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater – just because you can’t use something right now doesn’t mean it won’t work some other time with a little tweaking. Hang on to it, in case you can re-purpose it in a few months’ time.

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