Working with Legal and Compliance: Tips for Content Marketers

The legal and compliance department may seem like your arch nemesis when it comes to getting content approved, but they have a role and it’s an important one. Almost every industry has to deal with what they can and cannot stay. It’s the job of legal and compliance to keep your company safe. It’s not, however, their responsibility to make your job easier and it can feel like working with them is a roadblock.

But there are ways to improve content collaboration with these groups so you keep creating content that’s engaging and relevant to your audience, while they cross all the t‘s and dot all the i’s. Let’s look at some tips for content marketers when working with legal and compliance.

Highly Regulated Industries Require Teamwork

If you are working in a highly regulated industry like finance, healthcare, pharma, legal, or education, you have to work together with legal and compliance stakeholders. Additionally, any industry must be careful about certain language around guarantees, warranties, and promises.

While you’re busy working on content to wow your audience, compliance and legal must ensure it meets regulations. It’s often a fine line with questions like:

  • Can we say that?
  • Are we able to deliver on this promise?
  • Can we share that customer story?
  • Are certain words off limits?

It can be a slippery slope, and while legal and compliance aren’t there to douse your creativity or make you sound like a robot, they do have to ensure that every piece of content is in line with industry and business guidelines.

So how can you work better as a team?

Engage Legal and Compliance from the Beginning

legal and compliance

If you have a content project that you know will need to be approved by legal and compliance, start the engagement from the beginning. Get clear instructions from the start from these groups. Let them share their concerns or questions before you dive in and have to redo anything.

Content collaboration across silos, which you’re probably dealing with, doesn’t have to be impossible. With proper communication and a space to collaborate from the start, you’ll set yourself up for a more consistent process, ensuring you meet deadlines and are able to publish as expected.

Understand the Compliance Challenges of Different Content Formats

The format of your content will influence what compliance measures it must meet. For example, videos that feature actual customers or your own business leaders have different compliance restrictions than a blog post on a general topic. Further, what you post on social media may also have more stringent guidelines.

Work out what these compliance restrictions are based on the format and have documentation in place that corresponds so that the same issues don’t keep coming up.

Enable Review Tools

With a content marketing software platform, you can provide spaces for collaboration amongst different teams. This can include reviews and approvals. When legal and compliance have a centralized spot to look at content as it’s being produced, your content workflows will be much easier.

There won’t be constant back and forth via email. Also, you’ll find that a content calendar is a key review tool. It offers transparency into all content marketing efforts so that legal and compliance always have a comprehensive view of what’s being created.

Include Regulatory Concerns in Your Content Strategy

When developing and maintaining your content strategy, you need to have a section about regulatory concerns. Having this information included in your content strategy creates limits on what you can and cannot produce.

While content marketers are no fans of limits, they are necessary, especially in highly regulated industries. Aligning regulatory concerns with your content strategy is a good idea for all content marketers as it ensures that you stay on track with message and compliance.

Educate Your Content Creators

legal and compliance - content creation

Content creators should be creative and excellent at producing content, but they also need to have a deep understanding of your industry. This means they need to do a lot of background research on what compliance issues the industry faces.

Educating your content creators can come directly from your legal and compliance teams as well. It might be helpful to schedule regular meetings with the groups for learning sessions and updates. The more interaction your content team has with legal and compliance, the more likely they are to deliver content that will be both engaging and quickly approved.

Build Relationships with Compliance and Legal

The foundation to better alignment with compliance and legal and content teams is a strong relationship. Remember, legal and compliance are on your team. They aren’t meant to be your nemesis. Sure, you’ll get frustrated sometimes, but building a relationship that’s founded on trust and mutual respect can help ease this.

Invest the time to build relationships and develop joint ownership of the review process with your legal and compliance experts. If you establish specific rules, workflows, processes, and expectations up front, then everybody wins. Everybody has to be accountable and you have operating policies in place to streamline content production.

Your team can immediately know which types of content will trigger more intensive reviews, and then choose to pursue it or table it based on content marketing goals.

Using Content Marketing Software for Better Collaboration

With these tips, you can improve the content creation and review process, but you’ll need a content marketing software platform to help you execute it.

With the right technology, content collaboration becomes less of a burden. It will reduce the number of review meetings you have and deliver a better way to communicate. Look for a content collaboration tool that offers:

  • Central repository for ideas: legal and compliance can add comments if they have concerns from the start
  • Shared content calendars: keeping everyone on the same page
  • Real-time notifications: legal and compliance can be easily notified when they are needed
  • Project management tools: the ability to manage each content project in one spot enables organization and better workflows

The bottom line is that legal and compliance are not the enemy of content teams! They’re just there to make sure you stay between the lines. Embrace them as part of the project by using the right technology like DivvyHQ. Schedule a demo today to see how seamless your collaboration can be.