Posts Tagged ‘corporate communication’

3 Useful Corporate Blogging Tips

April 29, 2010

Some corporate blogs engage employees. Some corporate blogs inform and entertain. And some don’t really do anything. So here are three things not to do when writing corporate blog copy. For those of you who are new to the subject, here is a mildly helpful overview http://bit.ly/5oJvO6. I say mildly because the blogging industry seems to have a revolution every month. Here are three things not to include in your corporate blog.

3. Do not write obvious advertising copy on your corporate blog. Writing about the real value of a service is different than announcing a 10% off sale. Advertisements and corporate blogs have different messages. Your blog may sell soap, but don’t make it obvious. Here is a post from the Dell corporate blog, “I luv my Inspiron D530S. It works so smoothly without any prob. I have been using it for the last 5 yrs & it has never had even the smallest of hitches.” hmmmm, okay, so, ummmm, why didn’t this satisfied customer spell out the word “love”? I mean come on, it’s only one more letter.

2. Celebrity gossip and corporate blogs are completely different. I admit, however, that if Britney Spears were to come into my office, I would probably blog about it. This is a slippery slope that crosses into the spamming for keyword hits/image transfer for credibility realm. So for a company like Disney, who I’m sure has many celebrities in its parks daily, why do people want to read that Tiny Fey was caught on a date with Goofy http://bit.ly/bxSG3m. Okay, I admit I would probably click on the headline “Tina Fey Caught Cheating on Husband with Goofy.” But again, celebrity sightings and gossip: one thing. Corporate blogging: another. Well… wait a minute. Celebrity name tags push blogs up to the top of web searches. I am now adding Tina Fey as a tag for this blog post. Hypocrite?

1. Do not write as if you are the best company on earth, even if you are. Most people do not what to be told what to think. I know this rule gets broken every 3.54 milliseconds these days, but still, I still have faith in the average mind. A journalism professor once told me to “show her, not tell her.” Of course this means laying out the facts or feature or story, or whatever the communication shop figured should go on the Tuesday morning write board slot, and then allowing people to come to their own conclusions. If you are a good writer, you don’t have to tell people what to think about your copy. It’s like explaining a punchline, it ruins the joke.¬† I know it can be hard to resist telling them what you want them to think, but don’t. Just stand back, take a deep breath, and have faith that people will figure it out. Your audience will love you for it.

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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?