Planning Your Monthly Content Creators Meetings
The writing team at Lisa Baker Associates (LBA) hit an exciting milestone this year. With a writing intern, a freelancer, two full-time employees who have content creation as part of their job description, and me, the chief content officer, we have finally grown large enough to warrant a monthly content creators meeting!
Up until now, I’ve met one-on-one with our writers whenever I have a new assignment for them, to share my feedback on a piece they’ve written, or to coach them on a new writing technique. But just interacting with me probably left each writer feeling like they were off on an island without much comradery or peer support. Also, it was making more work for me to try to educate each individual writer on the same writing principle, tool, or technique. Not to mention trying to teach them about insurance, which is our bread-and-butter industry that we serve.
If you’re working with multiple writers, and are thinking that having a monthly get together, whether virtual or in-person, is the next step to forming a team writing environment, then I thought you might benefit from knowing the details of our first content creators meeting.
1. The date. I scheduled the meeting for an hour on the last Wednesday of every month. The end of the month is a great time to look back at all we accomplished as a writing team and to look forward at all we want to achieve in the coming month.
2. The pre-meeting assignment. Part of the objective for these meetings is to educate my team of young content creators. I am working on developing their business writing skills as well as their knowledge of our primary clientele, independent insurance agents, and their industry. So, prior to the meeting I gave the writers two assignments–one was to research an insurance topic and the other was to read about the seven core skills of being an effective business writer.
3. The agenda. I wanted this meeting to be an opportunity for the writers to share what they were working on as well as what they hoped to work on in the future. This was extremely helpful to me as I learned what each writer had a passion for, whether it was trying their hand at a new type of content (e.g., infographic, case study) or new subject matter (e.g., business insurance). In addition, we all shared our biggest writing challenges over the past month, which gave other team members the chance to chime in with advice. Finally, we tackled the pre-assignments. I had prepared an informal but informative pop quiz on the insurance topic. And, the last thing we did was go over the seven skills article and state which ones we wanted to work on over the coming month.
4. The follow up. I took notes during the meeting and shared them with the team along with the date and assignment for our next meeting. I want our writers to know that I am listening and have recorded their writing and learning objectives. I also want them to keep these goals in mind throughout the coming month.
If this sounds pretty basic, it was. And, if it sounds very interactive, it was that as well. The most important outcome of this meeting was that our writers left feeling like part of a team and a larger content strategy. This should only make them more productive and happy!
Author's Note: This article was originally written in my role as Chief Content Officer for Lisa Baker Associates.