PortMA has a variety of reporting strategies and delivery frequencies. Some clients like to check their performance at the mid-point and end of the programs. Others like to check more often. Some prefer weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. When reports are delivered frequently, writer’s block can occur. It can feel like you have exhausted all topics after you have written four or five reports. We have created a couple of tools that help us keep our experiential marketing reports fresh: The Editorial Calendar and the Reporting Journal.
The Editorial Calendar
Once we finalize the research strategy and reporting template, we plan the topics for each experiential marketing report.
For example, I’ve worked for several years on a program for a large insurance company. We did bi-weekly reporting. In May I focused on perceptions of boating insurance, since boating season was right around the corner. My topic for August was renters insurance, because that’s when parents are getting their children into apartments for college. I selected my topics in advance, so I knew what I was going to write about each month.
Topics don’t have to be set in stone. If something insightful emerges in the data for a particular report, we can easily shift gears. I don’t have to spend hours wracking my brain figuring out what to write! The editorial calendar is also helpful when the data doesn’t provide any particular insights regarding the planned topic.
It is important to make sure the topics in your editorial calendar for your experiential marketing reports directly relate to the objectives of the research.
The Reporting Journal
The reporting journal is continuous documentation of what you have done. Information in the reporting journal may include things like:
- a summary of the report
- interesting trends
- secondary resources used
- client’s feedback regarding the report
- what worked or what did not
When reporting frequently, it can be hard to remember all of the details. That’s where the reporting journal comes in handy.
Here is an example of the way I’ve used a reporting journal when I was delivering weekly reports to a client: In the first report I referred to patrons as “consumers.” The end client preferred the word, “shoppers.” I noted this in my reporting journal. The notation was a reminder to use “shoppers” rather than “consumers.”
Frequent reporting doesn’t have to be a daunting task. It can be made much easier using an Editorial Calendar of predetermined topics and a Reporting Journal of what has been done and the feedback received .
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