If you want world-class content, you need world-class project management

If you want world-class content, you need world-class project management

“Quality or quantity?” – but how about both? To make an impact in the information-saturated world of B2B, we all know it’s important to release a steady flow of insightful, attention-grabbing content.

And to do that, you need to put a little bit of science behind the art. 

It’s not luck that gets a bespoke and enticing piece of content in your audience’s social feeds at the right time. And it’s not by chance that the multiple layers of a complex marketing strategy end up working in harmony. It’s through planning. 

Striking the right balance and making the most of your content involves supporting every writer, visual designer and social media producer with a host of digital tools and project management systems.

At Formative, we have a team of people and a suite of tools dedicated to making sure all the pieces come together, and on time. This process-driven side of the business may be a little short on glamour, but don’t underestimate its importance in the creative process.

A newsroom approach 

Our agency is set up like a newsroom and a large proportion of us come from a TV, radio or written journalism background. We’re used to sifting through lots of information to uncover a story, and creating fast, accurate content. And that is reflected in the way we work. 

We know the ingredients of a good story and will make sure we have them before we put fingers to keyboards. 

We’re also big advocates of subbing and other quality control mechanisms to make sure each piece of content we produce is clean, up-to-standard and meets the brief. We try not to let anything out of the building that we’re not proud of, recognising the reputational cost of clumsy mistakes or not thinking through how a piece of content will be received.

Resource management

A large part of my team’s job is resource management – knowing what skills we have and where, and whether they are available.

It can feel like playing Tetris, at times, but it’s what gives us the capacity and flexibility to respond to client requests and timeframes. And practice makes perfect – years of running previous projects continue to shape our processes. With this experience, we can now fairly accurately map out who needs to be doing what at any given point.

There’s also a little bit of magic to it – we need to have enough spare capacity in the team to pick up last-minute requests. We’ve learnt to anticipate client needs and can usually ‘read’ when we might be required to step in and give a helping hand. We also like to allow enough time for our team members to experiment, develop new skills and test out the latest shiny tools and trends. 

Communication and the right tools

Making sure everyone is on the same page is a vital starting point for any project, particularly when you are dealing with nuanced or complex messaging. 

We do this by creating clear briefs for every piece of work we produce. In each case, we want our team’s thinking to be totally aligned with that of our client. Many of our campaigns require us to distil large amounts of technical information or explain something complicated in a short graphic or video.

As the project or piece of content progresses we will continue to schedule regular updates, both with the client and internally, making sure everyone knows what’s going on and keeping an eye on the overall objective.

Digital tools like Asana and Slack form the backbone of our content production and provide up-to-date and accurate information to everyone on a project. This helps us to be efficient and fast – without compromising on quality. We can also tie-in with our clients’ own project management tools and content management systems, ensuring seamless communication across the board.

Quality and quantity

These are just some elements of Formative’s approach to creating high-quality, complex content to tight deadlines, and they’re all underpinned by a rigorous coordination effort.

For the biggest global corporations, great content is frequently only one element of a multifaceted marketing strategy. There are no shortcuts to creating quality content on an ongoing basis. Without a world-class project management system to back it all up, things will very quickly come unstuck.

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About the author: Joe Myers is Head of Operations at Formative Content, overseeing every aspect of client work. Connect with him on LinkedIn here. 

Joe Myers - Managing Editor, Formative Content
Author:Joe Myers - Managing Editor, Formative Content