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Blog: How traditional journalistic basics can improve internal comms

How journalistic basics improves internal comms

September 19, 2014

Delivering a potent mixture of internal communication is certainly not a straight-forward process.

But there can be little doubt that some old-fashioned journalistic skills – spelling, grammar, enticing content and the ability to deliver key messaging clearly – can make a big difference to an IC success story.

We know our audiences are more time-conscious than ever before, making them more demanding than ever before.

As a result, we need to deliver messages to colleagues in a way they wish to consume it.

Whether via a website, app, video or a printed publication, getting the channels right for your audience is essential.

But, despite channel selection being a vital part of a successful comms mix, there is an even more fundamental element to consider – content.

Whether you’ve trained as a journalist or not, producing rich content has become an absolute must for organisations – whether it is for internal or external.

Make no mistake. In 2014, content is undoubtedly king.

And adopting some old-school journalistic basics can only benefit your organisation.

Producing quality copy

This has never been so important. Articles littered with rookie spelling mistakes and grammatical errors rank poorly in search engines, will not be shared by readers, lessening its reach and its ability to connect with the audience.

• Keep copy tight and retain the article’s focus. Poorly structured wording with too much waffle will only put people off.
• Question and challenge the reader at every opportunity. Interaction has never been so important. Readers want to get involved.
• Use multimedia. It offers depth, increases traction on visits and provides an alternative viewing experience to other channels.

Hit the headlines

Journalists are taught to be flexible. Writing online headlines is a world away from in-paper puns. Online content needs to be detailed enough for search engines but still make the reader want to click through to the rest of the story.

• Be punchy. Online headlines need to be descriptive but not too wordy. It’s a balancing act.
• Entice people in. Headlines on both your article and social media are a hook – so make it interesting!

Dealing with deadlines

With the rise in online journalism, old-fashioned print deadlines are gradually becoming a thing of the past.
But the discipline of meeting deadlines is not one that should be dismissed with flexibility of online publishing schedules.
Being consistent with the timing of your content is important as we know readers enjoy familiarity and routine with comms channels.