What’s an editorial foresight calendar? For media strategists and producers, a foresight calendar is a list of all the events on the calendar, usually for the upcoming year, that will be newsworthy. In particular, the calendar includes events that might be opportunities to capture engagement due to timely interest.
Whether you’re an editor, publisher, influencer, marketer or business owner, preparing an editorial foresight calendar gives you time to be less reactive and more responsive. Keeping notable events on your radar throughout the year helps you stay ahead of the curve, allowing staff to investigate creative perspectives and angles to upcoming events that impact culture, society and politics.
It gives you time to build a repository of materials: relevant visuals, photos, graphics and timelines, allowing for more effective infographics that give a bird’s-eye view of issues and trends. Also, it could help you secure and interview sources when you’re not bogged down with a tight deadline. Long-ranging perspectives in your visuals, quotes and stories give a sense of preparedness and depth, when notable events are seen from a vista.
“The characteristic more essential than any other is foresight,” Theodore Roosevelt once said. “It should be the growing nation with a future which takes the long look ahead.”Get a head start on editorial planning with a foresight calendar of some of the biggest newsworthy events through 2019. Great as a pitching resource too. #editorialcalendar #futureevents #freelancewriting #contentmarketing Click To Tweet
Tips to curating your editorial foresight calendar and keeping it current
- Each event should include: start and end dates; name; location; hyperlink to more information; and a searchable tag to allow you to sort through events by category.
- Limiting your event categories will help you search thematically and string events into forward-looking content that could track policies and trends that link events to purposes and outcomes your audiences are following.
- Being conscientious of the locations of notable events in your calendar allows you to tailor and scale your events coverage in different geographic regions. You might want to tailor your content to specific regional customer bases as well.
- If you work in a specific industry or sector, the categories you use and the events you include could be more aligned to main conferences and forums where industry influencers exchange ideas.
- Updating the editorial calendar should be a monthly task for someone on your editorial team.
- Use the foresight calendar during brainstorming meetings and as an idea tracker. When ideas are flowing, or new angles and links are discussed, record them in the calendar with a mindset that content can be repurposed at different points in the year as well.
- Some go even a bit further with their editorial foresight calendar by attaching the writers to cover the events, mapping the content into categories (including keywords and meta data); and adding a “publish by” date.
- Actively seek out and create content calendars for your various distribution channels, like Sprout Social’s great #hashtag calendar.
Most anticipated events through 2019
Editorial calendars should be designed with flexibility and responsiveness in mind. To keep content managers nimble, one should always be asking:
- What cultural, political, scientific and technological trends in the last half of 2018 will draw media attention and how should my editorial or content teams be prepared for it?
- What events will challenge us to renew our thinking and stretch the limits of creativity?
- What events could affect my business, or be opportunities to promote it?
Here’s a reboot of 2018’s most anticipated events that could re-contextualize your content creation for the rest of the year into 2019.
- Longest total lunar eclipse of the 21st Century on Jul 27, 2018: Expected to last for nearly 2 hours, July’s lunar eclipse (aka “blood moon”) will grace the skies for the longest stretch of night compared to other eclipses in this century. Stargazers in Eastern Africa and Central Asia will have complete visibility, while those in Australia, Europe and South America can see a partial eclipse. But viewers in North America shouldn’t fret, you can get a full view of a disappearing full moon in the U.S., Canada and Latin America on Jan 20-21, 2019.
- 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta to debut esports (August 2018): You can win a gold medal at the Asian Games for playing video games like League of Legends, Hearthstone, and Pro Evolution Soccer? And for thunder-thumbs playing mobile games like Clash Royale and Arena of Valor? Yes, coming to Asia now! Professional gaming optimists say mobile gaming has already gone global with proven daily users numbering at 160 million for just Kings of Glory alone. In a bid for LA 2024, LA’s Olympic Committee was eyeing esports as a way to bring back viewers. But esports’ popularity could eclipse traditional faves like figure skating or track and field before the Olympics return to the U.S. in LA 2028.
- Gubernatorial elections in 36 U.S. states and U.S. Congressional elections: So far, it’s been an exceptional year for women running for governor and Congress, with a record number of immigrants and women of color vying for office. According to Bloomberg, there’s been a 67% jump in women candidates from 2016. If Stacey Abrams and Deb Haaland win, they’d be Georgia’s first African-American female governor and New Mexico’s first female Native American representative respectively.
- NASA’s Mars InSight is expected to land on the Red Planet on Nov 26, 2018 after traveling 300 million miles through space. If scientists did their math right, the probe will land in one of Mar’s most volatile areas known for its severe dust storms. Earlier in June, NASA’s Opportunity rover was caught in a massive dust storm that blocked its signal, but NASA scientists emphasize that the reiterative process allows for them to test, learn, experiment and apply improved technologies with every launch – and every glitch.
- Opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland (Summer 2019) and at the Walt Disney World Resort (Fall 2019): Coming off the heels of opening the new Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney is out to create an ultra-immersive experience for Disney-Star Wars fans in 2019 that will let you pilot the Millennium Falcon and play like a Star Destroyer inside a hangar bay, but beware danger lurks in dark corners: Et tu, Harko?
Access a baseline editorial calendar template and start tracking ideas
The ClearVoice team has created an accessible editorial calendar template, a Google Sheet pre-populated with more than 450 notable events and gatherings that stretch across the globe, from summer 2018 through the end of 2019. Major events were picked from interest areas such as politics, arts and culture, technology, science, entertainment and sports. Trade shows related to marketing and media were included for ClearVoice’s audience.
You can access and use it right away (via the form at the top of this post), or create one like it with your industry-specific notable events. The foresight calendar is set up to be a baseline template that you can add to and extract from as needed, or that you can import into other apps to collaborate on with your team. Each event is set up using the tips above and includes a URL to gather more information about the events as needed.
How you decide to shape your editorial calendar depends largely upon the audiences you serve and the niche markets you want to target. What’s offered here will get you started.