Project Managers

Project Managers are Megawatt’s Secret Sauce 

What do project managers do? You wouldn’t be the first person to ask us this. The varying role of project managers in tech is kind of a running joke.  Meme bias aside, we think our coworkers and clients would agree that our role in agency content production is pivotal. 

Megawatt incorporated PMs into our content production process a little over a year ago to ease the cognitive load on writers and team leads, so they could focus on strategy and creativity.

It turns out that agency project managers can be a huge value-add, not just for internal employees but for clients too. Project managers add immense value to the content production process by making administrative work invisible so our writers and clients can focus on creating great content.

The role of project managers in content production

So what exactly do PMs do at Megawatt? The great poet Taylor Swift once said, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”  We consider PMs to be the masterminds behind the scenes: always thinking three steps ahead and creatively piecing together a plan (plus backup plans, too!).

A T-shaped skill set

You may be surprised that Megawatt’s PMs don’t always come from a content marketing background. Our PMs display a diverse skillset earned from time in education, mental health counseling, and across other industries. 

It’s okay that we’re not content marketers because we utilize a T-shaped skill set to be good PMs. 

The top bar of the T represents many broad skills with a shallow depth of knowledge. That would be the PM’s content creation knowledge and technical knowledge about our client’s products and platforms. While we all have a baseline understanding and interest in tech, we rely on our Writers and Content Team Leads for depth in the specifics. 

Where we have a deep domain of knowledge is executive functioning. We excel in organization, task prioritization, task management, and soft skills, such as effective communication, problem-solving, and adaptability. These skills are essential to support the top bar of the T.  

Strong executive function skills mean we are adaptable and can work across many industries and clients.  We can provide insights, ideas, or guidance that those with deep domain knowledge in the technical aspects of the work might need help to see.

At the same time,  PMs understand and support the needs of people. Instead of treating our writers like cogs in a system, PMs approach their jobs with humanity. Our job is to provide the proper tools and systems for the team to be successful. 

Our day-to-day duties

What does this look like on a practical level? 

PMs at Megawatt are holistically involved in all stages of account management. Unlike some agencies, our PMs are client-facing, which means we are fully integrated in each step of the content production process. 

Here are some (but not all!) of the duties we perform on a weekly basis:

    • Maintain content calendars. Manage editorial calendars, monitor production, set or update internal and external due dates, and ensure we have enough approved content to fulfill our contracts
    • Client communication. Schedule client meetings, set agendas, take detailed meeting notes, and track next steps post-meeting. 
    • Track deliverables. Track due dates, provide regular updates to clients, and ensure writers have everything they need to complete their work.
    • Capacity planning. Track and adjust writer capacity to prevent work overload and ensure timely delivery across clients.
    • Budget montoring. Work with the VP of Operations to monitor budgets and track profitability. 
    • Pull analytics. Pull analytics data that our content teams can use for reporting and to create content plans. 
  • Monitor and enhance systems and processes company-wide. Constantly enhane team processes for overall efficiency as the company grows.

The ROI of content project managers

When we speak to potential new clients and partners  we usually focus on our content skills, ability to produce results, and our product offerings. But one benefit is often overlooked: the value-add of in-house project managers.

We can divide the benefits into proven internal and external values, but in truth, all of these benefits lead to bigger marketing gains for our clients. 

Internal Value

PMs make working at Megawatt easier, making us better able to serve client needs. 

Robust project management processes reduce the cognitive load for other employees.  By keeping track of project details, we take a huge burden off Team Leads and Writers so that they can focus on what matters: creating exceptional content for our clients. Since Megawatt started using PMs, we’ve seen an increase in general employee satisfaction and a sharp decrease in Team Lead turnover.

Lucia Giles, Content Team Lead, says “PMs have been an invaluable addition to the team. With their support, I’m able to dig into the creative and strategic side of my role. I’m responsible for connecting the dots between a client’s goals and our content capabilities — PMs help fill in the dots to determine the timeline and budget in which we can bring those ideas to life.” 

Along those lines, we constantly acknowledge the human aspect of Megawatt’s work. We’re advocates for our writers and team members, constantly checking on their capacity and making sure they’re not overloaded — which could lead to burnout and employee turnover.

Even though we’re not directly involved in drafting content, we add value to the process by allowing writers the time and tools to focus solely on content creation . This is done by handling the logistical, organizational, and administrative tasks needed to draft content, like setting up templates, determining due dates, and ensuring internal editing procedures are followed in a timely manner.

Additionally, we play an active role in enhancing internal processes throughout the company. In the past year, we’ve had a hand in optimizing client communication, creating new templates to improve efficiency, restructuring Google Drives, and instituting an internal capacity tracking system (and standardized project timelines) to increase efficiency and utilize our internal resources fully.

External Value

PMs keep the trains running on time, which can be a huge value-add for our clients. We make sure that our content team sets reasonable due dates and that they hit them regularly. We spearhead client communication so that clients know what the team is working on and when to expect to receive drafts for review. 

The organization and communication on our end saves our clients time and frees their headspace. There’s no need to search through endless streams of emails and slacks to hunt down information and no surprises around content delivery. We work with clients to prioritize assets based on their needs and our internal abilities so they get the most out of their retainer with Megawatt.They can trust that we will deliver what they need on a schedule that makes sense.

PMs create custom reports and dashboards to show clients where assets are in production and provide quick links to important documents. Everything is organized in one spot. This has led to an increase in both internal and external productivity.

Finally, we’re also happy to act as advisors and consultants to our clients to help them with their own project management initiatives. We’ve helped clients set up internal review processes, walked them through how to set up Asana and other project management tools, and provided advice on internal organization and project visibility. 

We take care of the details so you can focus on content

We love our jobs because it always keeps us on our toes. Every day there is a new challenge.  We orhcestrate, scheme, and plan to ensure everyone has what they need to succeed while guaranteeing timely delivery for our clients.

Our most important contribution as PMs is that we take care of the overhead so clients and our content teams can focus on the big picture. We free up time for content teams and clients to think creatively and strategically and focus on delivering the best content possible.

Want to learn more about how we can make your content production process smoother? Reach out!

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