Leveraging an Internal Editorial and Social Media Calendar

One of the key takeaways from the Jewish Day School Social Media Academy is the importance of being organized with your social media, website stories and respective school themes. As a result, Gann Academy created an internal editorial calendar between the Director of Marketing Communications and the Web and Social Media Specialist.

This Google calendar, which can be accessed, edited and modified by both users, has been beneficial because:

  • Gann Academy regularly posts 2-3 feature stories on its website about what students are doing, alumni stories, Tikkun Olam efforts, sports and general news and announcements. The editorial calendar organizes said stories’ publish dates and which week they’ll run.
  • Gann Academy is frequently posting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more. However, for the bigger campaigns we utilize the editorial calendar as reminders of when to post on social media.  Also, the calendar helps keep a time frame in mind if a campaign has a certain start and end date.
  • For guest speakers and certain events, the editorial calendar informs us of the coverage needed. This helps manage time and, more importantly, keeps a deadline to post information in a timely manner so it doesn’t become old news.
  • Gann Academy has particular campaigns and themes and our news stories reflect that. The editorial calendar helps us ensure that the themes and editorial content match together in the correct week.
  • The calendar creates cohesiveness between internal staff and gives a foundation about what projects are being worked on, what might be a valuable idea and what needs to be done on deadline.
  • The editorial calendar helps create newsletters. At Gann, we have a Weekly Newsletter that goes out each Sunday morning. Looking back at the calendar serves a reminder of which content can be pulled in and what will work in later newsletters.

While schools have an external calendar for the public to see, the internal calendar provides a month-by-month — or week-by-week — landscape of what you intend to cover. What's more, the calendar is a valuable tool to look back of what you covered and how you can improve on it for the next time around.

The last point is that the calendar does not have to be anything fancy. It can be Google, Excel, your email client or even a sizeable whiteboard so long as it can be accessed by the correct staff.

For more learning on this theme, check out these other editorial calendar examples which plan around monthly content themes, various people on a team, or by channel.

Blog post and Excel download: http://www.bobangus.com/free-editorial-calendar-template/

Another Excel template to download.

What criteria are important for your social media planning and calendaring?  

Craig Byer is the Web and Social Media Specialist at Gann Academy in Waltham, MA.  Gann Academy has been participating in the 2012-13 Jewish Day School Social Media Academy generously funded by The AVI CHAI Foundation.  Interested in joining the 2013-14 Academy or sponsoring schools in your area to join?  Contact Lisa Colton.

No More Excuses: Importing Your Events into Personal Calendars

Guest post by Ellen Dietrick

The New Year is quickly approaching and with that comes the deluge of new calendars. Synagogue calendars, school calendars, board meeting schedules, and soccer schedules. Like me, you are probably used to dedicating an afternoon around this time of year to entering all of these lists of dates into your personal calendar.

Those days are over.

Set up a calendar for your organization in Google, post it to your website or blog, invite your members. One click and voila, each event on your organization’s calendar is instantly imported into their personal calendar. The events show up in a new color, so your organization’s events are easily distinguished from other entries on the user’s personal calendar. And the best part- as you add events to your organization’s calendar, they automatically show up on each individual’s personal Google calendar. You can even use it to send invitations to your events and collect RSVPs. It is all both cost free and ad free. For those that don’t use Google calendar, they can easily view events right on your website or print the calendar in any of three formats: weekly, monthly, or agenda.

Sample Google calendarTo get started on setting up the calendar for your organization, you’ll need a Google account. Then go to Google calendar and select “Add” in the “My Calendars” section. The investment of time is quite minimal. Spend a few minutes entering the events and then embed the calendar directly to your website. To try it out from a member prospective, visit a sample calendar at Kesher Jewish Community After School Program. Then just hit the at the bottom of the calendar. (You can easily remove it later.) Note that for Mac users, Google allows you to add a link to allow them to get the calendar through iCal too.

Ellen Dietrick is the new Director of Early Childhood Education at Temple Beth Shalom in Needham, MA, and is famous for her creative and practical uses of technology at her previous position at Congregation Beth Israel, in Charlottesville, VA, and through the Covenant Fellows program and the Jim Joeseph Foundation Fellowship.