Ideas are the lifeblood of any creative endeavour. However, the creative process can be arduous; you can’t always rely on eureka moments to get you through. But building a formalised framework into the way you generate ideas can help make the process a whole lot easier.
When it comes to your internal communications strategy — whether it’s led in-house or by an external agency — crafting regular content that consistently engages, educates or inspires your target audience can be a challenge. Over the years, we’ve found that recreating proven formats helps us to plan, publish and share the right content, at the right time, over and over again.
The best content tends to fit into five key story types — so for those moments when inspiration is eluding you, here they are:
1. The organisation
This type of story focuses on the big picture: what the organisation is doing to achieve its stated ambitions, and how this activity exemplifies its vision and values. Business results and performance, mergers and acquisitions, strategic plans — all this and more is outlined in this kind of feature. News-style stories are a safe bet, whilst interviews can bring a personal touch; the latter can be particularly effective in giving visibility and recognition to the C-Suite.
2. What we do
This type of story encapsulates the exciting projects that are driving the organisation forward. Insight into big contract wins and client success stories always resonate here, as do explorations of new technological developments that are breaking new ground or setting industry standards.
3. Life at [your organisation]
These are the people-centric features that give an authentic snapshot of what it is like to be a part of your organisation. Team profiles, social event summaries, career reflections, individual stories of triumph – these stories should come directly from stakeholders, shining the spotlight on who they are and what makes them tick. For businesses in particular, this type of content can be repurposed during the recruitment process to attract new talent, giving them a sense of their potential future in the organisation.
In every industry, there are elephants in the room; contentious, complex issues that are discussed furtively rather than openly. We’ve found that content which addresses these topics in a sensitive but direct way resonate extremely well, becoming the topic of conversation amongst employees in private Teams calls and around pub tables as much as in company-wide meetings.
Stories in this category can also explain and discuss new initiatives, like diversity and inclusion schemes and health and wellbeing programmes. This kind of coverage can be an effective promotional tool, helping to engage and attract new members, supporting their success.
It is likely that your organisation is full of subject matter experts – but it is equally likely that their insights are confined within their own departments. Explainer-style content helps to break down information silos within an organisation, making insights accessible to all.
In addition, simple how-to articles or step-by step guides can educate your audience, equipping them with the right tools to perform their roles with greater success.
5. The wider world
How your organisation plays its part in your local community is becoming increasingly important nowadays. Showcase your CSR activities in these stories to highlight how you are giving back to your community, and promote your causes of choice to a wider audience. Moreover, you can spotlight the individual philanthropic exploits led by members of your organisation to showcase your values in action.
Whether you’re planning out a new project or looking to fill those final few pages, use this framework to generate a well-rounded project that achieves its stated ambitions and serves the needs of its audience.
To learn how we help our clients with their internal communications strategies, contact Eric Campbell.