December is the perfect time of year for PR and marketing professionals everywhere to plan their next 365 days of content.

One of the biggest mistakes companies make is jumping straight into content creation without a solid plan as to how their strategy will be shaped by seasonality, evergreen events how it should evolve from month to month in alignment with product development roadmap and overarching business goals.

We know that setting out an intelligent content map for an entire year ahead is easier said than done, so we’ve done some work to help make the process easier. The CNW 2017 editorial content calendar was created by our own content experts and is available for free download here: 


This calendar contains key Canadian dates and important holidays to consider as you set out your strategy, however consider the following before you begin:


Define your goals

What are the goals of your content marketing strategy? Looking to build your organization as a credible industry thought leader will require different content than if trying to reach a brand new audience that you have never communicated with before.


Identify Stakeholders

Consider the stakeholders that should have a say in your content strategy. Are there members of other teams, besides your communications, marketing or PR teams that should be involved in this planning? Hint: product development and sales teams may have advice to offer about roadmaps and cyclical influences on your business.

Determine the types of content that will be created

What’s going to resonate best with your target audience? Knowing who (and where) your audience is, will allow you to write content in the style and format they like best. A multichannel, multimedia approach that spans paid, owned, earned and social will ensure maximum reach and drive discoverability. Listening to your audience first will help you to uncover their interests and motivations.

Plan a full year’s worth of content to ensure your team knows what’s coming up an can prepare creatively for the next course, but be sure to revise continuously as current events provide new opportunities or alter the course of your business strategy.

A strategic content plan for your blog and other marketing efforts may seem more luxury than necessity, but experts agree it’s essential. As Content Marketing Institute’s Joe Pulizzi says, “In almost every keynote speech I give, I ask the audience members whether their organizations have a documented content marketing strategy. Sadly, most do not.”

PR pros are natural planners: We need to plan – both from a practical standpoint and to satisfy an inherent yearning to be ready for anything. Happily, experts suggest that 60% of our time should be spent planning!  Happy holidays.

Download our content editorial calendar here.

About Amy-Louise Tracey

Amy-Louise Tracey is the Communications Manager at CNW Group. Follow her @AmyLouiseTracey.

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