Approvals are an important part of campaigns and especially for digital content. A variety of stakeholders need to review and sign off on messages to ensure they’re aligned with the campaign’s objectives.
Unfortunately, this added friction means delays and bottlenecks. When it comes to digital campaigning, there’s an advantage to being fast and nimble. So how can you design an approvals process that maximizes opportunity and minimizes headaches?
Here are five strategies you can incorporate to streamline approvals for your campaign.
Write Down the Policy
You have an approvals policy whether it’s explicit or not. Eliminate any confusion by clearly articulating the steps and making it available to the team. Specify who needs to see content for visibility and who needs to see it for approval.
Sometimes the back-and-forth about approvals is less about content and more about protecting turf or minimizing risk. Writing down your policy for everyone to see shifts this debate and lets your team focus on getting content out the door.
Re-Use the Candidate’s Own Words
There’s nothing more valuable for email, social media, and other digital content than a candidate’s own words. Anything said publicly, like at a forum or in an interview, by a candidate should be considered as “approved” for the purposes of redistribution. The same goes for things they’ve written, such as an op-ed.
Provide All Necessary Context and Assets
The goal of an approvals process is to get to a “yes” as seamlessly as possible while taking all necessary considerations into account. The best way to facilitate this is to provide all of the necessary context along with the underlying content.
For example, if you’re seeking sign off for ads, explain where they will run, what images or videos will be used, and what citations any claims are based upon. Make the approvals process about the content, not other factors.
Set Time Limits
Plan ahead when possible for getting digital approvals, but also set a time limit. You could say, for example, “I’m posting this Tweet at 3pm today unless I hear otherwise.” This deadline can serve as a forcing function for candidates or consultants who are busy or reluctant to make decisions.
This also frees you up to not chase down approvals.
Most campaigns use email or SMS for approvals, but that’s not always the best. An informal process also leads to miscommunication and confusion. Have a dedicated method, like a Slack Channel or an app like Approveit, that keeps your approvals chain for digital content organized.
Unfortunately, you can’t get around having to rely on approvals for digital campaign content, but you can make the process easier. As a candidate or campaign manager, having a low-friction approvals process empowers your team to created better digital content. If the approval process is arduous, your staff and vendors will start optimizing content to get approved with less hassle, rather than what will best serve your campaign.