Make the Important Interesting
There’s one purpose we have to achieve as communicators in order to be successful at what we do.
We need to make important topics interesting.
Not an easy task. First of all, figuring out what is important to any organization takes research. What do executives think is important? What do middle managers think is important? What do employees think is important? What does the industry think is important?
The only way to determine that is to listen to these groups in your organization through focus groups, surveys, metrics, pulse surveys, interviews, and industry research.
Then comes the hard part. Because what is important in organizations is rarely interesting.
Company initiatives, wellness, safety, financial performance, benefits, mission/vision/values, new products, old products, industry news . . . We are not writing about sex, drugs and rock and roll, unfortunately.
But that is our lot in life, right?
We have to do two things:
1. Figure out what is important, and focus 90 percent of our time on those topics. (The other 10 percent is the “housekeeping” items—such as, “the server is going down,” or “the parking lot will be repaved and unavailable on Friday”). The important topics are those that help employees understand our business, help them understand how they specifically contribute to the success of our organization no matter what they do, and these are topics that help them connect… to the organization, its mission and to each other.
2. Make those often humdrum topics interesting. We accomplish this with storytelling, focused on the people closest to the work. We use strong writing, powerful headlines, action verbs, and great quotes. We use the latest, greatest tools—such as smart phone videos that cost next to nothing to produce. We engage our leaders, and coach them to offer transparent, entertaining (when appropriate), and authentic communication to employees. And, we set up structured user-generated content to capture the stories from the front lines.
Register for this Master Class.
Steve and Cindy Crescenzo cover these topics in their Employee Communication Master Class: The Influential Communicator. It is virtual and spread over two days: March 7 and 9, from noon to 3:30 EST each day, with tons of time built in for discussion, questions and idea sharing.