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Brand Publishing 101 - #3 Defining your editorial mission
Brand Publishing 101 - #3 Defining your editorial mission

This article is Part 3 of our Brand Publishing 101 series - walking your through the ins and outs of setting up and kicking off a winning brand publishing strategy. So buckle in.

Now that you've clearly identified your audience, it's time to define your editorial mission statement. 

Your editorial mission statement is how you align everyone in your brand publishing venture (be it internal teams or an agency) toward a single goal. It outlines your target audience, your brand publishing purpose, what content you will be creating, and how that content will add value to your audience.

This step is absolutely critical to ensuring brand publishing success, but is where most businesses fail - while 88% of B2B companies currently use some form of content marketing, 72% don’t have a documented editorial mission statement, according to CMI’s 2016 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report

What are the key benefits of an editorial mission statement?

The main benefit is the ability to focus - and to say no. With brand publishing coming up with ideas is not the struggle, it's the ability to manage and prioritise what content ideas should be included, and which should not. This lack of a filter leads to scattered content that fails to have a consistent message, and doesn't advance your overall brand publishing strategy.

The editorial mission statement also provides your team with a clear framework to work within as it keeps everyone on track and ensures a consistent voice across various channels - this is especially important if you have multiple writers covering the same topic, use outsourced content writers, or have a content team that is growing quickly. This framework also results in fewer disputes on the content quality, less revision time, and creates a more productive editorial team overall.

How do you create an editorial mission statement?

Your editorial mission statement is not your businesses mission, nor is it your brands mission. While the concepts may overlap, your editorial mission needs to be focused on what your brand thinks is best for your audience. It states what you’ll be publishing, who it’s for and why they’ll care

Your editorial statement needs to include 3 things:

  1. Your audience – who is your content for?
  2. Your content – what is your content? (and how is it different)
  3. Your value – how does you content add value to your audience? what can they do with this value?

Examples of editorial mission statements

Sports Illustrated

Editorial Mission Statement: "Sports Illustrated covers the people, passions and issues of numerous sports with the journalistic integrity that has made it the conscience of all sport. It is surprising, engaging, and informative, and always with a point of view that puts its readers 'in the game.'"

INC.

Editorial Mission Statement: "The place where entrepreneurs and business owners find useful information, advice, insights, resources and inspiration for running and growing their businesses."

Eater.com

Editorial Mission Statement: "Eater is the go-to resource for food, drink, and restaurant obsessives. It keeps readers informed about what’s going on in their local dining scenes while also providing in-depth criticism and analysis, award-winning long form journalism, and entertaining and informative videos. Eater is the only food world publication with a staff of critics, videographers, editors, and journalists on the ground in more than two dozen cities across America."

Getting the most out of your editorial mission statement

To get the most out of your editorial mission statement you need to make sure that your entire team is on-board, and that they are aligned with how the statement should be used as part of your day-to-day content processes - be it at the idea stage through to final review. Post it on the wall, do whatever you need to do to ensure that it becomes ingrained as the core focus of your editoral process.

Stay tuned for Part 4 - Planning your content flow.

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