If you've got a big content project ahead of you, a little planning can help save time and ensure quality. We just wrapped a large-scale brand journalism project for Staples [see the results here], who needed the content on a tight turn-around. One of the ways we were able to produce quality quickly was to "gang" sources. Here's how it works:
- Analyze the assignments for through-lines, noting common themes and concepts across assignments. This macro view enables us to see opportunities for sources across articles.
- Identify sources who can address the topics best, and provide interesting points of view and actionable information in a way that resonates with the audience. Fill in coverage gaps with other high-caliber sources.
- Evaluate the source list to ensure there's enough diversity of opinion (and any other criteria) and that there are enough sources that it doesn't feel like you "skimped". I don't have a number or ratio, unfortunately. It's a feel. If you think you don't have enough sources, you probably don't.
- Develop interview questions and conduct the interviews. Tag content appropriately if you're using a CMS.
The time you invest in the beginning is still much less than the time it takes to do lots of interviews.