Building a persona can be a valuable exercise for new marketing programs or new products. Building a foundation for your editorial direction requires an understanding of who your audience is, how they buy, what they think about and where they go for information.
Quite often I engage with this exercise even before I consider what to write, and that's because it helps me understand what platform we will be using. Personas should describe the behavior of the audience, including where you can intercept their interest and how to approach them. This is vital for social media and high engagement streams where you will likely have to build a persona for you own brand channels.
When I work with companies, we try to build customer personas to help set the stage for our editorial process, and a corporate persona to direct the editorial tone. This strategy gives you a higher probability of saying the right things at the right place, and having the framework in place for having a meaningful conversation.
It might even feel silly...
Coming up with names, careers, interests and personalities for fictitious people is kind of strange, but if you can't do it, you clearly need help understanding your audience. Even a simple persona I feel is critical to getting your editorial strategy started.