I may well have become a “groupie” yesterday.
The monthly gathering of the Hoosier chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) featured Steve Crescenzo, described as, “one of the top-rated corporate communication speakers in America.” I didn’t realize that the voice inside my head that runs like an Ally McBeal dream sequence would come to life during a presentation on corporate communications.
I knew we were in sync when he led with, “The No. 1 thing wrong with executive communications is that they are BORING.” I put down my fork and was entranced. Yes, this is how I felt … I had banged my head on the desk, thrown newsletter copy up into the air and pretended to shoot it, thrown it on the floor and hopped up and down on it … in protest of the boring, bulls@#Tted-ness of what the company president or marketing director was demanding.
I was so attentive, I lost track of the desert table filled with tiramisu, cheese cake and what looked like a carrot cake or spice cake. Which, is why halfway home, I had to have a “sweet fix” and stopped for a slice of raspberry lemon torte at Rene’s in Broad Ripple (highly recommend, by the way). But I remained enthusiastic about his message … and it’s one I want to share.
According to Crescenzo, the days of the old, standard corporate newsletter with the obligatory droning column from the president is the communication equivalent of the VCR – if you haven’t put it in the closet yet, you should.
The replacement? A corporate blog.
But it’s more than format – it’s the content. Just throwing one-way communication into a blog is pointless. What changes corporate culture is creating a forum a conversation within the organization. (I know, you read this earlier this week in my, “Avoid Charlie Brown’s Teacher Syndrome” post. Read it again … Crescenzo confirms it all.) Blogs from company leaders that provide authentic insight into their HUMAN side, WITHOUT the spin language (you know, the “strategic leveraging of the current implementation …”) and ask for input are blowing the doors off anything they’ve previously done.
So, six practical blog tips from Steve:
1) Don’t be afraid to reveal interesting things about yourself;
2) Encourage conversation by asking questions at the end of the post;
3) Bring in guest bloggers;
4) After telling your story, ask people to share their’s;
5) Don’t be afraid to tackle the tough stuff;
6) Report “from the field” when you can.
I have faith that lots of folks are doing just this … send me examples and I’ll link you up as “blog deciples.” And let me know how a blog has changed the culture of YOUR organization.
It’s Thursday … Two more meetings today, a communication plan for a fantastic jewelry launch PLUS finishing touches on a roll out of a new phone app for another client. And staying cool. And counting blog views … we’ll roll over into the 1,000th view today. Not bad for about five weeks!