Are you content with your content? Think like a publisher!

More than 20 years ago, Bill Gates wrote a paper entitled ‘Content is King’ in which he spoke about the Internet giving businesses the opportunity to publish information, adding ‘opportunities are remarkable, and many companies are laying plans to create content for the Internet’.

Today, with the rise and rise of social media channels, the opportunity to publish and share content is even bigger than Mr Gates could have imagined back then. But what is content and how do we create it and manage it?

Content can be a number of things including words (which might be blogs, news articles, interviews or case studies); images; and video. Organisations will then have a variety of platforms on which to share this content – from the news/blog section of their website, to newsletters and numerous social media channels. All these channels require content – but, in many cases, one piece of good content can be repurposed over a variety of different channels. 

The first step to creating content is to think like a publisher. Pick up any magazine – whether it’s a local publication about your town to a trade journal – and you’ll see that there’s a mixture of content. Importantly, it won’t be completely filled with advertising. If it was, you probably wouldn’t pick it up. That’s a good place to start with creating content for your own organisation – don’t make it all about sales posts. 

Publishers – whether they are producing a daily newspaper or a monthly magazine – will start with a plan and this could be broken down into sections (all of which have a place on social media channels):


News is key and it should be something ‘new’ which is happening in your business.  Perhaps your company has won an award, appointed a new managing director, opened a new branch or launched a new product. The list of what falls under the banner of ‘news’ can be wide. 

Producing copy for the news pages of your website is key for SEO and also to make your website look current. If you produce a good piece of copy for your website – this can be repurposed across other platforms. 

When you write a news piece, put your journalist hat on and try to write it as much in the style of a news item as you can. Sum everything up in the first sentence, so you don’t confuse your reader with what your story is about. Keep your news piece brief, include a quote and a photo (which should be captioned). Written well, not only can this content be shared across your channels, but it could also be distributed as a press release for your relevant media. 

Share the love

While it’s important to create original content, it’s also good to share relevant content. 

Keep an eye on the news – whether that’s your local media or your particular trade publications, television and radio or bloggers working in your sector. If you see a news story about your industry, then share it and comment. 

Today’s the day…

There is an awareness day for absolutely everything nowadays and there will be regular ones which are worth sharing for your own particular organisation. Visit one of the websites which lists them and make a note of some which work for you. Then, share them on social media. 

People matter

Any content you create which includes a human element will always get additional engagement. Think about ‘interviewing’ your colleagues – not just the directors of your firm, but everyone included in your team. Find out what they enjoy most about their job, why they think your organisation stands out from others and what they enjoy doing in their spare time. In this way, potential clients will see that your firm employs real people who they relate to.

In addition to interviews, also remember to share in the success of your team members. While it might be nothing to do with their Monday to Friday role, the fact that one of your colleagues volunteers at the local homeless shelter one night a week or is training for a marathon is great news to share. 


In addition to shorter news items, most publications include longer features and for an organisation looking to product content, these could be blogs. This is an opportunity for people within an organisation to produce some original content and, by sharing advice or perhaps hints and tips, be seen as an expert. 

Again, be organised about this. Make a list of the team members who could do this and create a schedule. By spreading out the workload, they might only have to write one or two blogs a year. Journalists need deadlines and word counts – so give your team member a deadline to focus their mind and a word count (which will probably be around 500 words). 

If blogs seem a step too far – then maybe ask them to provide a list of hints and tips. And, if they aren’t keen on writing it down, why not think about videoing them?

Case studies/testimonials

We all known how important reviews are for any type of organisation – whether it’s left on Facebook or a Google review. If you get a good review, then share it across all your social media channels. Some businesses might have a visitors’ book or receive ‘thank you’ cards or emails. Save them and share them. 

If you’ve got a particularly happy customer or client, then consider asking them if they’d be happy to be interviewed for a bigger case study type piece. It might even be worth asking a local writer to craft it for you. Again, video testimonials work really well too and are great for sharing on social media. 

Photo spreads 

Most magazines and newspapers will fill some pages with photo spreads – so don’t be worried about doing that. However, think about the photographs you are using. Always use your own images if you can and, if they aren’t your photos, but sure you have permission to use them. 


Most publications do include some adverts, so don’t be afraid of including posts about your products and services every now and again. 

Create a schedule

Be organised. Every publication will have a schedule. Don’t flood your social media channels with all your exciting news on one day. Space out your content and balance the type of items you share. 

Publishers will have a flatplan where they can see what stories they are going to use. Why not then create a monthly schedule of when you are going to share stories. Most social media platforms allow you to schedule copy in. 

Finally, proof your words and think about spelling and grammar. If your copy doesn’t read well or has mistakes in it, this reflects on your business. Also, if your grammar isn’t correct, your message might be difficult to understand. In addition, be as brief as possible, people have short attention spans and are often short of time.

Start thinking like a publisher and you’ll soon be content with your content.

Article Details

Ian Jepp
04 March 2019