Any business serious about showing its best face to the world in 2017 needs to develop a monthly content calendar - one that converts to results.
As creator of the DIY Newsroom approach to content, my mission is to empower businesses to do it themselves.
Indeed, if you are a medium-sized or larger business, or any business with communication nous and resource, you should be controlling your own message rather than leaving it to external agencies.
Get it right and you could zoom through cyberspace from zero to hero.
But let us be clear. Crystal.
As the ultimate reference guide, the content calendar will make or break your level of reach and engagement with your target markets.
The content calendar requires considerable thought and should be utterly aligned to your business objectives. Content should embody who you are and what you stand for. It needs to be compelling, relevant and hit the target.
Critically, get the outline of a distributed content strategy right - and then start scheduling and sharing.
Yes, those likes, followers and connections beckon. Yes, you want to use that new fandangled tool to automate the delivery of your enriching blogs, inspirational quotes and insightful posts. But stop.
Pause and think about whether you have factored in these five essential steps that will underpin the success of your distributed content.
One of the best aspects of running your own company is the ability to put your money where your mouth is by supporting not-for-profit ventures or by performing pro bono work.
At the big end of town, CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) is all the rage. For some companies that makes for a nice feel-good story and pictures for the annual report. Other blue-chip companies take a more serious approach with dedicated staff, programs and KPIs.
Running a boutique communications start-up, I'd encourage small companies to identify how they too can donate skills and services.
This can be a stretch when pulling revenue in the door is the priority and time is precious. But, in business parlance, the ROI is real. And who wouldn't want to spread some love in this increasingly corporatised world?
Here's six tips for making the experience work for both you and the not-for-profit.
Stuart Howie is a communications and media consultant. He runs Flame Tree Media, which specialises in setting up newsrooms for organisations wanting a better return on communications. Stuart has worked in media and publishing for more than 30 years as an executive, editor and strategist.