Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Importance of Effective Communications

The comments on today’s posting about Newsletters and Blogs reminded me that I shouldn’t take communications principles for granted.

You Need an Editor
I was taking for granted that, if an organization chose to use a blog to communicate with its members, they would have someone who was responsible for soliciting and editing articles. It takes time and thought to recognize good topics and then to make sure that the articles get written. And, let’s not forget, someone needs to review the articles and do some basic editing.
If you want to recruit and retain members, you need to be prepared to put some effort into your communications tools.

And the Alpine Club used to have a great newsletter – so I’m sad to hear it’s been replaced by an ineffective blog.

Consider Your Audience
Most voluntary organizations, and many large corporations, think that their newsletter or magazine must include a message from the president. Why? The president may well have some useful or interesting information to share with the membership – in which case it’s worthy of an article. Far too often, the President’s Message, is full of bland, meaningless platitudes. And the audience knows that – so they just skip right on past to the first “real” article.

It’s critical to keep your audience – your readers – front and centre when you prepare your newsletter or blog. What information will they find interesting or useful? How can you format the newsletter or blog so that it will be easy for them to find the information they are looking for?

I’ll admit – I’m generalizing – and maybe everyone does read your President’s Message, Stephanie. If so, great – the readers obviously know that you will provide them with useful information. This is just a caution to think twice about what you have to say and how you package it.

1 comment:

Stephanie V said...

I do try to keep that in mind...thank you for the reminder, though. I suspect that there are different sorts of audiences who require different kinds of information. Always relevant and a good story...seniors may be more inclined to read everything.