Corporate communicators responsible for internal and external content can sometimes run into the problem of not having anything about which to write. There are just those ruts that pop up during which there’s just no news, no new initiatives, no events, or no training. If your organization has a blog, finding regular content can be especially difficult.
I’ve discussed before about the difficulties in getting executives to post reliably, but there is a solution to making sure your blog always has something new for your readers – employee-generated content. Blogs shouldn’t be used only as a communication vehicle for your leadership. Employees have voices and are grateful for opportunities to use them… so why not offer it to them? Solicit aspiring writers to contribute to your organization’s blog, and it will not only keep them engaged and help build a collaborative, community-based culture, it will take pressure off you to come up with content from scratch.
What are some topics about which you can have them write? Here are just some examples:
When we write about employees who went above and beyond to help a customer, find efficiencies, or generate sales, it can be inspirational for other associates. But when the story comes right from the horse’s mouth, it’s even more impactful. Employees who write their own account of how they lived your organization’s mission and/or values has a personal element that can’t be replicated by a quote in an article written by someone else.
This isn’t just an effective internal tool, it’s a great idea for your company’s public website. Blogs written by your employees that customers can read provide a passionate and effective glance of the kind of people who provide service to them. The strength of this communication as a recruiting tool to attract workers can’t be overlooked either. Those who might consider applying to your company will be impressed by the enthusiasm and commitment to excellence they from these blog posts.
Sometimes employees would like to improve certain skills, such as organization, multi-tasking, process improvement, etc. What better resource to help them enhance these skills than coworkers who excel in these areas? The best part is there is no one secret to self-improvement. So you can designate an ‘expert’ in project management, efficiency, people skills, and so on, and have them post regular tips and tricks that can add value to their colleagues.
Health and Exercise Tips
Every organization has people trying to achieve better health, and as in the example above, there are always those who have found success in various ways. Their personal experience can be an inspiration to others who are struggling with the same challenges. Best of all, they can offer tangible, actionable advice that others can use.
Now, this can get a little tricky from a legal standpoint. While someone might have lost weight from improvement in nutrition and/or exercise, if they’re not a certified expert, there’s potential for a lawsuit if the advice they give is ineffective or worse, harmful to someone else. This is even more dicey if you post any kind of advice from an unlicensed source on an external/public blog. Check with your Legal department before delving into this kind of blog. Usually a disclaimer is all that’s needed, but be thorough in researching any potential liabilities.
Life Outside the Office
Employees love hearing about their coworkers’ lives away from work. Tales of community work, athletic achievements, entrepreneurial successes, etc., are fantastic human interest stories that reinforce the principle that we are not the sum total of our work life. From the standpoint of your external blog, what an effective way to put a personality to your organization and the quality people that are a part of it!
Photo of the Week
I did this in a former company. Every Friday, I posted photos taken by employees who had unique or picturesque accounts of life outside the office (along with a short introduction and explanation of the photo). It was slow to start, but after a few weeks, I got a lot of submissions from people who wanted to show the photo of their trip to Paris or the Grand Canyon. One person showed a photo of her daughter who was featured in a fashion show.
This is up to you, but my goal here was to provide unique, quality photos and not just photos of babies, for example. There’s nothing wrong with babies, but it wasn’t meant to be a Facebook album in which any photo was thrown up on the blog. But it’s your blog, so if you use this idea, facilitate as you see fit!
These are just a few examples, and I’m sure there are many more. Fill up space in the Comment section below about some blogs you’ve tried and with which you found success! And if you haven’t done so already, be sure to sign up for my weekly e-newsletter on the righthand side of this page, and get your free download!
Check ya later!