Full Circle Communications

September 2014
Oct. 7: Julia Wilbur in the Civil War
Details about my upcoming presentation about abolitionist Julia Wilbur:

Oct. 7, 6 to 8 pm

Morrison House, 116 S. Alfred St.

Alexandria (Old Town)

You can purchase a drink but no pressure to do so.

No need to RSVP, but feel free to contact me if you would like more information.
past issues
Is this newsletter useful?

There's more.

past issues on such topics as design tips for writers and speechwriting.

pass it on!
If you find the content in this newsletter useful, 
  • send it to a colleague   
  • share it through Twitter, Facebook, etc.  
  • republish in your blog, newsletter, or other media (credit to the source)
  • check out the Archives of past issues 
check us out
Join Our Mailing List
ease in writing?
"Ease in writing" comes from a poem by Alexander Pope, the British poet:
True ease in writing comes from art, not chance, 
As those move easiest who have learn'd to dance. 
Note he (and I) didn't say "easy writing." But just as dance lessons can help get you around the floor more gracefully, the goal for this newsletter is to share a tip or two to improve your writing.

Recipient of Constant Contact All Star Awards, 2011 through 2013!

Creating, and Keeping, an Editorial Calendar

content, blog posts, tweets, Facebook posts, video clips, and more--we know we have to "feed the content beast," but how?

Beasts need consistent care over time, rather than a ton of food (or enthusiasm) on Day #1 that diminishes over time.

Zookeepers use feeding schedules. We use editorial calendars.

An editorial calender is a tool to plan for periodic, relevant, and channel-appropriate communications with your target audiences. You can use a calendar template (see below for some examples), but you can also create a simple spreadsheet. The key is not what it looks like, but how you use it over time.

Recently, I talked with Dori Kelner, managing partner of Sleight-of-Hand Studios, about how she works with organizations to set up and adhere to an editorial calendar.

Audiences and Goals

According to Kelner, basic questions come first:
  • Your target audience(s)
  • Your business objectives
  • Issues that are of interest to them (and not just what you want them to know about you!)
  • Channel(s) to best reach them (blog, Twitter, newsletter, etc.), ideally based on research.

She develops a spreadsheet to inventory content. For each piece of content, she'll list its title, type, URL, any images/videos connected with it, owner, and how often it needs to change. 


Content is classified as static (for example, About Us or Contact Us on your site) or dynamic (blogs with new postings, tweets, Facebook posts, and the like).


Most content these days should be dynamic. That's where the calendar comes in.

Creating the Calendar


Using the format that works best for you, develop a calendar of how you will review and update/change the static content (maybe quarterly) and create dynamic content (way more often). 



  • Which channels to regularly use, based on your audiences
  • How often to create (or curate) content
  • Topics  
  • Who will do it 

Kelner recommends a 4-month planning horizon. Be specific in your dates and assignments. Don't propose, for example, twice-weekly blog postings. Instead, write out which dates each week, the general topics, and who will write them.  


Be realistic, based on available resources. For instance, if you can't keep up a weekly newsletter, make it biweekly or monthly. Use tools such as Twuffer to schedule tweets that you write in the morning over the course of the day.  


Keeping the Calendar

This is tricky, but it's why the specificity of a calendar is your friend.

Honor the dates on your calendar as you do other project deadlines. Depending on the size of your organization, you may be doing all the content yourself or coordinating the work of others. Either way requires time and attention.

And here's another important part, Kelner said. Don't run through the 4 months, then come to a full stop. At the end of the first month, plan for month 5, and so on, so you always have a flow ahead of you.


Use analytics to see any changes in traffic to your website. Chances are, if you are true to your calendar, you'll see spikes in traffic when you post new content and dips when you are AWOL.

What works (or not) for you? 

What keeps you from developing as much content as you wish you could? Or, what helps? Drop me a line and we can cover the topic in a future issue of this newsletter.

Or let Dori or me know if we can help as you develop your editorial calendar.

Next month: How to take advantage of other organizations' and publications' editorial calendars. 


EditorialEditorial Calendar Tools
The editorial calendar that I have set up for this newsletter is written in pen in my planning book. But I have kept it up monthly for more than 5 years and know my topics into 2015, so it works!

Some of my other channels need better follow-through, however. With that in mind, here are a few free editorial calendar tools (however, some require providing your name/email to download), as well as more tips about them:


Editorial calendar tools on Pinterest collected by Michele McGraw

Content Marketing Institute template

Full Circle Communications, LLC / Alexandria, VA / 703.212.0350