If you work in internal communications, then you’re well aware of the importance of clear messaging and dialogue. It’s the lifeblood of any organization’s workforce. But, sometimes it can be a struggle to get everyone else to see your point of view. Here are five tips to help you boost your readership as we enter the new year:
1. Get other people involved. If you’re writing as hard and as fast as you can, but your readership is tanking, you probably need to write less. Sounds strange, but clearly the tactics you’ve currently got in place aren’t cutting it. Instead, use your time to recruit other writers for updates from around your company. Their voice will add diversity, depth, and strength to your communications. Readership will follow!
2. Get leadership talking. If you want employees to listen, make sure your leaders are talking–often. Not just scrubbed and ghosted official messages, but real thoughts and observations. If your leaders don’t have time to write (or aren’t comfortable doing so), interview them by email, phone, or in person, and write up the piece yourself.
3. Dejargonize. The greatest writers know their audience and aren’t afraid to simplify their language to suit. If you’re struggling to do this, then try writing out loud. (That’s right, read your piece aloud as you write. And then read it aloud when it’s complete). If you find that you sound like a professor giving a lecture, rather than a colleague having a chat, it’s time to edit. Remember: You’re a human. Write like one
4. Use images! A picture paints a thousand words (and they can be hilarious). Don’t be afraid to break up your text with relevant and amusing images, memes, or gifs (if it’s digital). This will break up the page (visually) and give the reader a break from processing the text. Images can also really punctuate your point!
5. Write for your readers. If you think (or know) that your writing isn’t getting much readership, then try to find out why. Either ask people up front or send out an anonymous survey. Secondly, make sure to ask people what they do want to read about. Then write to that and see what unfolds; are your pieces generating more comments or more discussion? Follow-up with people to ensure you’re on track and honing your craft.
This article is based on a piece originally written by Deb Lavoy at Jostle.