New Add-Ons for Your Publishing Matrix

A Publishing Matrix is a tool we use to help nonprofits create an organizational process for their online communications. Basically, it is a grid that lays out the content an organization publishes online as well as the channels where the content is published. Think of it as the skeleton of your communication’s plan. Here’s a quick view of a sample Publishing Matrix:

To learn more about how to create a Publishing Matrix, read the Social Source Commons blog, What is a Publishing Matrix? or use the online tool, Build a Publishing Matrix.

In the Publishing Matrix, an “X” symbolizes an action taking place. In the grid, you place an X in the communications channel that needs to be updated with the corresponding content info. For example, if you typically place an event announcement (content type) on your website, blog, and Facebook (communication channels), place an X in those 3 columns.

Naturally, since each organization is different, the channels and content types will vary from matrix to matrix. Not only will the content types be different, but you can also switch up the layout of the matrix to make it work better for you.

We highly recommend you shape or hack the Publishing Matrix based on the needs of your organization!

Here are four common hack examples and tips we’ve picked up along the way to help you get started:

Instead of an X, add sample content.
Example: What does a tweet look like?

Add example content in the matrix instead of an “X”. Check out the tweets!


Generally, it is great to use the same content across your multiple online channels. But, it’s good to change the tone and voice of the content based on what is appropriate for each channel. Twitter and Facebook have a more social tone than your website or email. Set up general guidelines for each channel in your Publishing Matrix by adding example content. Remember: Think about your Audiences and Goals for the channel before you start!




Instead of an X, add a workflow.
Example: What steps do I need to take to get something done?

Include a workflow in your Publishing Matrix to show what steps need to happen to get something done. By including the steps, the Publishing Matrix becomes a useful organizational asset especially if you leave your position or hire a new employee.

A content type can be a communications channel too.
Example: e-newsletter

This can sound confusing at first. Remember, on the Publishing Matrix all the columns are labeled with your communications channels (email, website, YouTube) and the rows list the content type you share with your audience (events, publications, blogs). Sometimes, a content type, like an e-newsletter, is also a channel type because you place information into the e-newsletter. Feel free to reuse any categories as a content type and a channel type when it makes it easier for you.

Assign channels to people.

Some organizations have different people in charge of communications. To help the flow of communication, label who is responsible for each channel.


A Publishing Matrix gets everyone at your organization on the same page and lets them know what’s up with your online communications. After you’ve defined your online communications, you can even start to think about adding in your offline channels like texts, calls, letters, or paper newsletters to develop a complete communications strategy as part of the infrastructure of your nonprofit!

Do you use a publishing matrix or something like it to organize your online communications? Know other ways to hack the matrix to make it unique? Please share below!

More Publishing Matrix Resources: