If you have gotten past the title of this post, you are probably on the same page that high-quality content is crucial to a well-rounded marketing and communication plan. It allows firms to demonstrate thought leadership and firm capabilities, increases online visibility and raises your profile with the media. But with a seemingly never-ending list of To Dos on busy executives’ plates, finding the time to create engaging content is seldom a priority.

The good news is a collaborative process with your internal communications team or an outside agency can significantly shorten the time it takes to produce quality content. Here is a behind-the-scenes look at how the content creation process could play out in three different scenarios:

Get it off your chest: A short phone interview. Essentially a spoken brain dump, this would involve a 15-30-minute phone conversation on the topic for future content. It is a good idea for both parties to put some thought into the desired direction of the content before the call to ensure a productive conversation. We may send an outline or discussion points in advance and often record interviews (with everyone’s permission, of course!) to refer to later. In addition to core content themes and details, we’ll agree on the format; i.e., will this be a blog post, a whitepaper, or an editorial; and the target audience; i.e., will this be for retail investors, advisors or institutional investors? Can this be shared widely, or is it for internal purposes?

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Reformatting existing material. Perhaps you just gave a stellar presentation at a conference or delivered a passionate sales presentation. All of this material can be repurposed into a new piece to be used in a different channel such as a client letter, a LinkedIn post or an article for your website. Depending on the complexity of the topic, a follow-up phone call or a few emails may be required to build out the content.

Blow up our inboxes: An email to get things going. Just start writing. It doesn’t have to be grammatically perfect or organized. As you would in a short phone interview, share your ideas on a given topic via email. Include any links to studies or articles that could provide helpful background or important supporting data. It is also okay to mention “that one study released recently by xx organization that shows xx.” We’re good internet sleuths; if it exists, we’ll find it. This could also be in the form of an email exchange among several parties.

Whichever of these processes is at work, the content flows from and is rooted in the ideas of the expert. Our role is to help facilitate drawing out your ideas so they can make the leap from your mind to the page. No piece is finalized or released without the sign-off of the idea generator. Often edits are traded back and forth to ensure the expert is 100% satisfied that the piece captures the original vision.

For many executives and topical experts, it can be initially uncomfortable to collaborate on the writing process. But in our experience, the opportunity to turn original ideas into quality content without using copious amounts of time is welcomed. Speaking of time, get back to that To Do list!