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Genpact’s Content Leader Dishes on How to Run a Newsroom That Spans 25 Countries

When Amrita Thapar says that she runs a global content operation, she means it. Genpact’s content leader for marketing oversees a robust operation that connects several continents and 25 countries, and in many ways, she’s just getting started.

Genpact, which is headquartered in New York, prides itself on helping over 20 percent of the Fortune 500. Creating content inside such a large company isn’t easy, and Thapar has been instrumental in constructing an impressive infrastructure that lets it happen smoothly.

(Full disclosure: Contently is a Genpact client.)

It’s not surprising that she’s been up for the challenge. Thapar’s career spans 17 years across all facets of media and content, from creation and distribution to operations and strategy. She regularly taps into her editorial experience from India’s Times Group, which has enabled her to adapt the complex approval processes of a newsroom for use within a traditional marketing organization.

Recently, I sat down with Thapar to learn how she keeps a truly global content team on message, creates an impressive array of content, and makes sure her team keeps improving.

Staying on the same page seems too elusive for most marketers. Why?

This conversation is very appropriate for Genpact because we have a new go-to market value proposition around Lean DigitalSM. Even though we’re a large company, the different operations, different regions, and different lines of business all use the same guidelines. Otherwise, you won’t recognize a piece of collateral from Genpact Australia as being from the same company as Genpact North America. We are so diverse, one of the things we constantly need to do is actually make sure that everybody conveys the same message.

That’s quite a lot of information to share. How do you manage it all?

To ensure our position is the same in all the content that we publish, nothing gets published that hasn’t gone through an editorial review. When I say editorial review, it’s a team of specialist editors. We are guardians of the brand message, so nothing gets published until we have approved it, and it’s our job to ensure the consistency of that message. That’s where a workflow like Contently really helps us, because nothing can be off of that message.

Does this process apply to everyone at the company?

It’s one of the most obvious checks. Regardless of who is publishing in the company—it doesn’t matter what rank or whether it’s a new page for a website, an event brochure, a magazine, or a white paper—everything goes through a core team of editors.

Is that core team all based in one place or are they across the world as well?

No, these editors are across regions, so there’s also a generalist editor. That’s my role, a sort of editor-in-chief. Then there are editors for things like business lines too. Even though there is specialization by region or by business line or by industry, Genpact’s core value proposition remains the same. It’s a very small group that does this review process.

How do you make certain all editors, and new editors, are trained and that they all are certain of that core value proposition?

The core group works directly with the chief marketing officer. We have several workflows, cheat sheets, elevator pitches, boilerplates, and one-page write-ups that make sure that all of us are following the same rule, so there is nothing that gets made up.

Did you set those all up at once, or have they been built and changed over time?

It keeps evolving. I’ve been in this role now for two-and-a-half years. About every three to six months, we refine it based in direction from our CEO and chief marketing officer, and depending on the business position Genpact takes.

That comes straight from our leadership. Then we take that message and build it into our collateral. Within our core group of editors, along with our chief marketing officer, we have very frequent workshops. They’re detailed, two-hour sessions where we talk about messaging and how we convey it. Then we, as the other custodians of that message, ensure that every collateral that we finally take to the market has the same voice, same tone.

That seems like it would make checking briefs and articles and even white papers much easier. How do you make sure that formats like infographics and other visual media are on tone and on brand as well?

Nothing gets published until it’s reviewed. We have multimedia guidelines, again, the same kind of standard operating procedures. Everything has a checklist, a documented checklist, and you can’t actually publish anything until it meets that checklist. Nothing is freestyle or from scratch. There’s a template for everything that we do. If somebody wants to write a case study, somebody wants to shoot a video, somebody wants to do an animation, there is a rulebook that says how to go about it.

And has all this process made publishing content more or less efficient?

We have far more users and far more workflows. But things move much faster now. Earlier, everything used to go to the chief marketing officer with far more review cycles. The cycle time for a piece of content has been reduced by 40 percent on case studies alone.

What’s the major misstep you’d encourage marketers to avoid when setting up or rethinking their content organization?

Most marketers get stuck just on volume. It’s never about volume. Get your message right to start with and be very strategic in what you do.That’s something that we were very categorical about. Content has to work and then you scale it up and do what’s the best fit for your goals and your ambitions, rather than just jumping on the bandwagon and saying, “Hey, we did this too.”

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