By Denise McKee on 4th January 2013
A New Year. New Resolutions. A New Outlook. Same old obstacles….
In Part 1 of ” How to Develop Engaging Content: Overcoming Common Obstacles, Practical Solutions” we began the journey of facing down the demons
that seem to consistently plague Internal Communications. So in the spirit of the New Year and resolving to overcome those obstacles, we’ll address our next roadblock…
Obstacle #2: “Come on – who really wants to hear this?”
The voices in our head, while annoying, are often quite perceptive. You have information you need to communicate, but in reality, does anyone truly care? How can you get your employees to actually listen and pay attention? After all, boring or not, it is important.
1. The Golden Rule of Content Development. You’ll hear me repeat this over and over, so pay attention. “It’s not what we want to say, it’s what our audience wants to hear”. This can be especially difficult with Internal Communications because face it, you have to say it and they don’t want to hear it. But if you use this as a filter as you develop your content, you’ll find yourself in a much stronger position to successfully accomplish your objectives.
2. Identify your audience. The key to successfully following the above-mentioned Golden Rule is to identify your audience. This is step #1. Once you are clear as to whom you are engaging with, you can craft the message keeping them top of mind.
3. Don’t automatically assume a “mass audience”. You may very likely have more than one type of viewer. Take the time to identify those multiple audiences in advance of creating your content. Trust me, it will be time well spent.
4. Multiple content approaches: In thinking about what appeals to your audience, you may need to consider approaching it via more than one type of content. One message might best be communicated via a video; another might be a better fit for a photo and brief story (remember SAS-Short Attention Span).
5. Choose the appropriate distribution channel. Think about the distribution channel: what is the best fit for the type of content you are sharing? Is it info that would be of interest to people outside of your company – clients, potential customers, shareholders, etc.? If so, think about moving it beyond your Intranet to social channels including Facebook, You Tube, Twitter. If the content is more detailed, then maybe it should reside on your website where people are more likely to take the extra time to read and research vs. Facebook or You Tube which is more of a “snacking” experience.
6. Make it interesting or informative to them, not you. This can be a challenge especially for internal communications that have to happen, no matter what, but think about putting it through the filter of what your audience would find engaging and interesting, maybe even entertaining. Consider combining this interesting content with some of the tactics discussed in my last post – polls, quizzes, videos. Remember, New Year, New Outlook….
Next month we’re going to discuss a very timely topic, give our recent Fiscal Cliff trauma: “We need to really engage with our employees – it’s a priority! But there’s no budget allotted.” Bet you haven’t heard that one before…