Proactive V. Reactive

How to plan ahead when you can, and react efficiently when something comes up.

Planning Ahead, Reacting Appropriately

My number one reason to plan ahead and streamline your content process is so to free you up to focus your energy on reacting to content in real time when you need to.

If you have a month’s worth of content locked and loaded, then you can turn your attention to the issue of the day and decide how to respond to it without abandoning your message guide.

Sometimes reacting to content is important or alluring, but doesn’t serve your overall goals. So I don’t advise solely being reactive, unless you’re a news site or cover the latest issues. It can also take time to decide if and how you want to react to an issues, so it’s good to have the time, space, and a process for that.

If you’re feeling reactive make sure you’re not falling into the trap of repeating oppositional messaging or forgetting to voice your very important messages!

Planning ahead for in the moment: If you establish a process for how to decide how to react to content, it can take the stress out. 

  • Is it on theme? Does the issue touch on our core themes? If not, it’s likely not worthwhile. If it’s a grey area, or worth consideration, discuss with your core team.
  • Decide on the decision-makers: Choose who needs to weigh in on the issue and how you’ll communicate about it – is a quick email good or will you need a quick meeting?
  • Timing matters: Decide if the issue requires rapid-response – most members simply want to know the stance if it’s directly relevant to them, for larger issues you can take a bit more time. 
  • Identify your position: Go to your key messages and choose the best medium to deploy – a video of a key figure head or a blog, perhaps. Pause any scheduled content that might take away from these messages.
  • Monitor: Once you put your position out there, be sure to monitor for follow up and have a plan for addressing comments or disagreements. No need to hide difference of opinions, just demonstrate your organizational qualities with dignified responses.