In-house comms bosses predict a year of 'content chaos'

Nine out of 10 in-house communications team leaders struggle with content creation, measurement and analytics, according to new research.

The results of a survey, commissioned by Speak Media, suggest that 'content chaos' could be a major concern for in-house communicators in 2020, as they point to a lack of skills and resources, fragmented business units, and increasingly tight deadlines.

Conducted by The Pulse Business, it found that 90 percent of comms directors regularly struggle with content challenges, with the leading issue being a lack of measurement and analytics (33 per cent).

One respondent, who wished to remain anonymous, explained: "We need to be more rigorous in checking what content generates the most engagement, but have a lack of skills and resources in the team."

In addition, 29 percent of comms leaders point to content silos as another major problem, where sections of their organisation independently develop unshared content.

Jenny Caven, director of external affairs at Slimming World, said: "Finding new ways of working collaboratively takes time and planning and people struggle with change, especially when they are used to working in a particular way. Working to tight deadlines doesn't help when you need to take time out to pause and reflect on better ways of doing things."

Other issues identified included poor visual content, such as video, photography, illustration, graphics; and not having an editorial strategy in place.

Another anonymous complaint described "too many competing pressures and no prioritisation, because we don't know what works and what matters", resulting in an uncontrolled spread of "random content".

George Theohari, head of content at Speak Media, said: "Content chaos is going to cause some huge issues for organisations in 2020, as the breadth, ambition and time-sensitivity of content needed to fill their channels now rival that of some traditional news outlets.

"Content silos, editorial bottlenecks, duplication of content, and 'off-strategy' content divert marketing and communications directors from their role as comms strategists.

"And many large-scale communications teams can lack the specific editorial expertise needed to lead and co-ordinate the kind of multichannel news team that will satisfy a brand's many channels and stakeholders."

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