Refining our editorial processes

We have been having editorial meetings every Monday since April. These involve audience stakeholders (our colleagues from the Office of Resource Development, for instance, who work with potential donors to EMBL) and content producers within our team. The idea is that everyone can pitch stories and then we figure out how best to handle them.

These meetings are a good start, but they could be a lot better. Some of the things that aren’t going so well include:

  • Unclear story commissioning
  • Poor feedback on production
  • Poorly defined audiences
  • Ad hoc formats
  • Editorial cycle dominated by EMBLetc. production
  • Structural and role changes in Strategy and Communications

To help address some of these issues we’re going to split the editorial meetings in to 3 distinct meetings:

  1. Story meeting at 10.30am on Mondays, involving audience stakeholders and content producers.
  2. Production meeting on Mondays, right after the story meeting, involving just the content team.
  3. Planning meeting on Wednesdays, where the content team agree a production timeline and gain approval for the formats in which stories will be told from the story owners.

It will take a while to get in to this new groove. A key element that will help give this entire process some focus is setting up a publication calendar. This is something that Laura pitched and I think is an excellent idea.

Have you got a story to pitch?

If you have something that you’d like to communicate via EMBL’s channels, you are welcome to come along to the Monday editorial meetings (usually held in room B18 in the ATC – accessible via video conference if you’re not in Heidelberg). Please be prepared to explain:

  1. What? The key message you want to tell
  2. Who? The audience(s) you want to reach
  3. Why now? The hook, the reason we’re talking about this now

Author: Dan Noyes

I joined EMBL in February 2016, where I am now the Joint Head of the Strategy and Communications team. I'm interested in communications strategy development and solving the problems of how communications works in practice in large organisations.

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