As a content manager I can tell you that taking a vacation is a bit of a taboo subject in an age where businesses are expected to remain connected 24/7. In an ideal world, every business would have their employees undertake regular courses and training from companies like Voltage (Learn more here) so they would be able to take over from one another while they go on holiday… but this often doesn’t happen. Content managers put in incredibly long hours writing copy, managing news releases and timing marketing campaigns around key events and holidays. It’s a truly round-the-clock profession that commands a lot of attention to detail and passion.
We’ve all heard the expression, “Work hard, play hard.” This probably doesn’t apply to content managers, who probably don’t have the energy to do the latter after another 12-16-hour work day. But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be entitled to a vacation every now and then!
Taking a vacation is essential to maintaining mental and physical health and ensuring productivity over the long run. This also applies to the men and women in charge of your company’s content development and brand management program.
If you’re a content manager looking to take a few weeks off, the following strategies will make your time away much more organized and less disaster prone. Mentioning these strategies to your boss is also more likely to ensure they sign off on your vacation request without gasping. So let’s take a look … Can Content Managers Go On Vacation?
Schedule your vacation strategically
There are various peaks and valleys in a yearly business cycle. Consider scheduling your vacation during downtimes in your industry or business. The less items that need to be managed during your absence, the better. This process should be easy enough. You can decide well ahead of time which part of the year is the least busy and target that period for your strategic getaway. You’ll have a better idea of the exact dates the closer you get to vacation season. Try a program like AgoraPulse to help you!
Prepare scheduled content ahead of time
While “content” and “management” are both critical, there would be nothing to manage if you didn’t have content. After you’ve nailed down a vacation date, prepare all the important content that needs to go out during your absence and make sure you sign off on all material before you go away. This may be a challenge for those of us who prefer to work on tight schedules (i.e. at the last minute).
Start off by creating a long-term schedule and begin populating items accordingly. If you’re going away during summer, prepare content that is applicable to that time of year. Another strategy is preparing content that is evergreen, meaning it can be released at any time of year. Once your content is approved, simply choose a release date and delegate authority for releasing it (more on that below). Alternatively consider curation as a viable way to populate channels in your absence.
Now that we’ve developed the bulk of the content that will be released while we’re away, it’s time to delegate who will actually release that content. If you’re lucky enough to have a content management or social media team under your purview, this process should be easy enough. If you work alone in content management or are employed off-site, talk to the advertising and marketing department to get clear instruction on who will be posting what. Ideally, you should present your organization with a schedule for release.
Whether delegating authority to teammates or someone in an entirely different unit, be sure to give precise instructions in writing. That’s because people are often forgetful when covering for someone else. And let’s be honest, nobody would want to put their holiday on pause to do damage control while they are relaxing at a Luxury Hotel in Downtown Dallas. So, make it abundantly clear what goes out when and who will be responsible for posting it.
Prepare for Crisis Situations
While it’s impossible to be fully prepared for an unforeseen crisis, there are practical steps you can take to minimize the damage. From a content or social media marketing perspective, creating a template document is one of the best strategies for ensuring your team has the resources it needs to handle a crisis situation. This template should contain approved messages for responding to crisis situations related to negative company information, bad publicity, a really bad troll or any hacking attempt on the company. Make sure everyone on the marketing team has access to it. They will likely need to tweak it before going live (after all, we can’t predict every bad development occurs – we can only hope nothing happens while we’re away!).
Set up an emergency alert system
This is the absolute last resort and we hope you never have to use it, but you may have to provide emergency contact information in the event you are needed for something critical. Perhaps that crisis situation we talked about was much worse than anyone could have envisioned or maybe there’s a high-profile media request that requires your immediate input. Whatever the case, there’s a slim chance you will still be called upon even while away.
In the unfortunate event that you actually have to work on vacation, consider organizing additional time off with your employer at a later date (this of course depends on the nature of the crisis and how much time you have to put it while on the beach or sailing or doing whatever it is you do on vacation). The good news is most people are very sensitive to bugging someone while they are away, so if someone contacts you out of the blue, they probably need you badly.
Remember the career you chose
Remember why you chose to be a content manager in the first place – you love the work and the fast-paced nature that it involves. Be thankful you’re busy and enjoying a rewarding career where you get to be creative, liaise with various stakeholders and get paid a great wage while doing it. It sure beats pushing papers all day!
Can Content Managers Go On Vacation? What do you think? Tweet me @Charli_Says