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How to Create an Internal Content Advisory Board

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Content Advisory Board

Learn how to create an effective internal content advisory board to ensure consistent messaging and enhance your content strategy with expert insights.

Table of contents

TL;DR – A content advisory board creates a unified voice across all communications, supports informed discussions on sensitive topics, and provides valuable educational resources for your team. 

What is an internal content advisory board?

An internal content advisory board helps ensure your company’s messages stay consistent and clear. 

The board’s role is to weigh in on what themes and messages they hear from the field. 

Such a board also increases transparency and brings in expert perspectives from within your team.

While some companies include customers, focusing on employees ensures you get relevant feedback specific to your company’s needs.

For example, if you’re planning a new marketing campaign, your DEI lead can provide input on inclusive language. 

Researchers can share the latest trends, and sales can offer feedback on what resonates with customers. 

This diverse group ensures all aspects of your content are well-rounded and effective.

4 objectives of a content advisory board

Your internal content advisory board has several key objectives. Meeting these objectives ensures your content is consistent, relevant, and effective.

  1. Ensuring consistency in messaging: One of the main goals is to keep your messaging consistent across all platforms and materials. For example, if your brand promotes sustainability, make sure this message is reflected in all content, from blog posts to social media updates.
  2. Providing a forum for discussing controversial subjects: The advisory board offers a safe space for discussing sensitive or controversial topics. This discussion can help address potential issues before they reach the public. For instance, if there’s a new policy change, the board can discuss the best way to communicate it to avoid misunderstandings.
  3. Educating stakeholders on content application: The board helps stakeholders understand how to use content offers in their work. For example, your sales team might need guidance on how to effectively use new case studies or white papers in their pitches.
  4. Clarifying terminology: The board helps ensure everyone understands and uses key terms correctly. For instance, clarify when to use terms like “proven” versus “research-backed” to maintain credibility and avoid confusion.

With these objectives, your content advisory board can significantly improve the quality and impact of your company’s content. 

How to set up an internal content advisory board

Implementing an internal content advisory board requires careful planning and execution. Here are some tips to help you get started and ensure success:

  1. Involve diverse stakeholders. This diversity ensures that your content is well-rounded and addresses various aspects of your business.
  2. Schedule regular, structured meetings. Ensure these meetings have a clear agenda to stay focused and productive.
  3. Focus discussions on actionable insights and strategic themes. For example, discuss how recent customer feedback can be integrated into your next campaign.
  4. Manage feedback to avoid “too many cooks in the kitchen.” While diverse input is valuable, too much feedback can be overwhelming. Develop a system for prioritizing and filtering suggestions to maintain focus and efficiency.
  5. Start with a small board and scale as needed. This approach allows you to refine the process and make adjustments before involving more participants.
  6. Provide clear guidelines and expectations. This clarity helps ensure everyone is on the same page and knows what is expected of them.
  7. Use technology to facilitate collaboration. Use tools like video conferencing, shared documents, and project management software to streamline communication and collaboration, especially if your team is remote.
  8. Measure the impact. Track key performance indicators (KPIs) and content marketing metrics such as content engagement, brand consistency, and stakeholder satisfaction. Use this data to make informed adjustments and demonstrate the value of the board to your organization.

By following these tips, you can effectively implement and manage your internal content advisory board, ensuring it becomes a valuable asset for your company’s content strategy.

Examples of content advisory boards

Data Center World

Data Center World’s content advisory team comprises industry experts who provide strategic guidance on conference content. 

Their roles include identifying key industry trends, suggesting relevant topics, and ensuring the event remains valuable and up-to-date for attendees.

Data Center World's content advisory board
A few members of the Data Center World’s content advisory board as of 2024

Institute of Internal Communication (IoIC)

IoIC’s content advisory board includes professionals who guide the organization’s content strategy. 

They focus on developing high-quality, relevant content that supports the IoIC’s mission and addresses the needs of internal communication professionals.

Institute of Internal Communication's content advisory board
Part of the Institute of Internal Communication’s content advisory board

Futures Platform

Futures Platform’s content advisory board consists of internationally recognized experts in foresight. 

They regularly exchange viewpoints and provide feedback to enhance the platform’s foresight database, ensuring it remains a balanced and unbiased repository of knowledge on key drivers of change.

The Futures Platform content advisory board
A snapshot of the Futures Platform content advisory board

Global Government Forum

The Global Government Forum’s content advisory board features senior public servants who offer insights on the challenges and opportunities faced by governments worldwide. 

They help shape the forum’s content to ensure it addresses critical issues and supports knowledge sharing among global government leaders.

The Global Government Forum content advisory board
A snapshot of the Global Government Forum content advisory board

These examples illustrate how content advisory boards leverage expert insights to enhance the relevance and quality of organizational content, ensuring it meets the needs of their respective audiences.

Meeting structure

Plan to meet quarterly. This frequency allows for regular updates and adjustments without overwhelming your team. 

During these meetings, gather key stakeholders such as your DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) lead, researchers, sales, and policy experts.

Begin each meeting by gathering feedback from stakeholders about what they’re hearing in their respective fields. This input is crucial for shaping your content strategy.

Marketing (or whoever is in charge of content at your organization) should then present the themes and specific content deliverables planned for the upcoming quarter. 

For example, if you’re launching a new service, marketing can outline the key messages and content types, such as client case studies or educational webinars.

After the marketing presentation, open the floor for discussion. Focus on several key points:

  1. Stakeholder feedback: This could include customer reactions, market trends, or internal challenges.
  2. Content alignment: Adjustments may be needed based on the feedback received.
  3. Research and data: For example, your researchers might provide recent studies that can support your product claims and enhance credibility.
  4. Clarification of terms: You might need to align wording with your internal glossary, tone of voice guidelines, and regulatory requirements.

This meeting structure creates a productive environment where all voices are heard and content strategies are refined collaboratively. 

Other common challenges and solutions

Keeping board members engaged and motivated can be difficult, especially if meetings become repetitive or unproductive.

Therefore, ensure meetings are well-structured and focused on actionable insights. Recognize and value the contributions of each member.

Regularly rotate the topics and invite guest speakers to keep discussions fresh and relevant. 

Time constraints are another issue. Board members may have limited time to dedicate to meetings and preparations.

Try to schedule meetings well in advance and provide materials ahead of time for review. 

Keep meetings concise and to the point, focusing on key issues and actionable items.

By anticipating these challenges and implementing these strategies, you can create a more effective and resilient content advisory board that contributes positively to your company’s content strategy.

Final thoughts

An internal content advisory board can be a powerful tool for ensuring your company’s content remains consistent, relevant, and impactful. 

By involving key stakeholders from various departments, you can gather diverse insights that enhance your overall content strategy.

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