Does your professional services firm have a strategy to produce, distribute and repurpose content for multiple market segments? If it does, you are in the minority. Best practices are to create and disseminate content to enhance search engine rankings. Philosophically, billable professionals have insights to share and there are numerous venues for thought leadership to be established. The fact of the matter is, sadly, that the professionals simply are not easily engaged to sit down and generate the content.
The almighty billable hour, the internal metrics, and the likelihood that most would prefer to do the work than to write about it, are all reasons one may choose not to blog, write articles or white papers, or post updates ad tweets. Simply put, very few firms have much experience creating an environment that acknowledges and rewards contributions to thought leadership that do not produce an immediate return. Performance measurement and incentive compensation practices will need to be revised in order to encourage content production as a preferred behavior within the daily, weekly, etc schedule.
If, like other forms of outsourcing, the firm were to contract with a contractor to produce content on behalf of the billable professionals, it would most likely lack the technical acumen and personal passion necessary to be an intriguing, gripping read. However, contract content editors may be a very good idea. Either a staff person or outsider could help to determine themes, subjects, and nuances that would make the content more readable in layman terminology.
Become discontent with unsatisfactory content–both in terms of volume and quality. Find ways to change the corporate culture to celebrate the content revolution. Articulate the increased stature and visibility that authors enjoy. Recruit firm leaders to demonstrate their personal commitment to writing–even when it produces no immediate revenues. Finally, make writing an assignment. Section/niche leaders should have a scheduled slot for covering their “beats.” Those aspiring to become partners can demonstrate their drive by taking on writing responsibilities. With content editors, these activities can be managed to successfully produce great content, repurpose it for other social media uses, and promote firm expertise.