Posts Tagged ‘Chuck Gose’

Transparency Plus Concrete Equals Employee Enagagement

April 19, 2010

I was re-reading an old blog by Chuck Gose called Digital Signage see here.

The blog poses the question: Would you read your own internal communications? This made me think about thousands of pages of copy that have fallen by the wayside due to fluffy, abstract, cheerleader-like messaging. I could almost close my eyes and see a communications exec with a black suit and pom-poms jumping up and down rhyming in generalities about how important our organization is.

I stopped to think a little about what people actually want to read. Do people read magazine articles about how good the magazine is? Do people want to read about how much success their peer is having? Answer: a lot more than you. Do people want to read about what specifically was discussed by the executive committee regarding the details of implementing a flexible work options program? Yes. Or even better, do people want to read about what was actually discussed  during that portion of the meeting: “Would working from home for one day a week where possible allow employees a chance to reduce stress, stay connected with family, and reduce carbon emissions by 25 per cent a year?”

That kind of internal communication will above all, be read.

However, it doesn’t end there. Internal communications is an ongoing conversation. What it is not is on-way. What we (corporate communicators) should never ask, as we sit down around the dark oak boardroom table on our black leather chairs that lean back just a little too much to give you the feeling that you are about to fall backwards and spill your hot English breakfast tea all over your Monday slacks when you sit down, is what is it that they want from us? It should never be us versus them as it so often is. Are we not also employees? Would it not benefit us most to take the standpoint of an employee? Because the entire job is finding the target audience and developing messages that will engage them.

So, being employees ourselves, I often ask the question, why do we write copy that we wouldn’t want to read?