I am back from vacation, and I have to admit that while I was excited to go on vacation, I am very happy to be back at my desk. Taking time off from work can be strangely stressful in a way, because it's easy to feel... well, lazy and useless, instead of relaxed, if you opt for a "staycation" like I did.
That said, my "Welcome back!" to-do list right now is somewhat terrifying, so I'm going to set it aside for a moment to dive into this week's episode of Content Lab.
At IMPACT, we publish more than 20 articles a week on our blog and have more than 50 contributors working with us at any given time to get that done.
I invited her to join me this week to talk about what it takes to be the person who owns content for an organization.
Ramona and I know from experience that there's so much more to content management than formatting and publishing and wrangling a content calendar.
From managing people and personalities, to handling missed deadlines and quality coaching, we talk about everything you need to know -- and what most folks won't tell you -- about how to be a great content manager without going insane.
I’ll admit that conversation was totally selfish in a lot of ways, because (a) I love any excuse I get to nerd out with Ramona over content, and (b) it’s cathartic to talk about all of the highs and lows of content creation.
So many people don’t talk about how the sausage gets made when it comes to regularly publishing on a blog -- which leads me to my one thing for this week.
Having been in a role like Ramona’s myself in the past, as well as the amount of collaboration I still do now to get my larger content projects completed, the one thing I ask you to remember is this:
If you own the content for your organization in any capacity -- blog or otherwise -- know that a lot of your role will be devoted to people. More specifically, relationship management.
Whether you’re giving good feedback or bad feedback, working with people on deadlines, or chasing down those who blow them off entirely, your job will be as much about people as it is about the content.
That’s something I like to remind myself of, because content creation is the thing people avoid. It’s the stuff that feels like homework. So, even though there are times I need to provide some critical feedback or lay down the law with tough love, I know I define how others in my organization feel about the experience of creating content at IMPACT.
Weekly Awesome: Lorne Michaels on Deadlines
In an interview with Harvard Business Review about talent management, Lorne Michaels, the comedy godfather mastermind behind Saturday Night Live,said this:
Question:What's the secret to being creative on a deadline?
Lorne Michaels: Knowing the deadline is real. That focuses people’s thinking. We don’t go on because we’re ready. We go on because it’s 11:30. There’s no getting out of it.
I love that quote -- so much so, that I have it on a post-it note on my monitor.
Bottom line, yes, people are a big part of content management, but deadlines should forever remain your No. 1 priority.
Don’t sacrifice your goals and your deadlines because someone else didn’t deliver or something went wrong.
Have backup plans. Like Ramona, develop tools and tricks like historical optimization and infographics, for when you’re in a pinch.
Most of all, don’t let perfect be the enemy of good if you need to get something up and done. Get whatever article or content piece to that MVP -- minimum viable product -- stage, go live, and then come back to it later to make it better.
Quality is insanely important in order to remain competitive and stand out with your content, but you also can't get derailed trying to attain a level of perfection that is unrealistic or not commensurate with the value of what you're creating.
So much beautiful content goes to die in pursuit of perfection.