Monday, December 17, 2012

Need Content? Train your staff. (Give staff a voice! Part 9 of 10)

Need content?

Ask your staff. Right? They all have stories, they are the experts.

And you already have a content plan, so the topic is set.

So blamo! Ask the staff to create and just wait for it to be done.

Wrong. We have already talked about all of the obstacles and then I shared some ideas on how to remove the barriers. The key will be to build up to the ask. And one of the best ways to build up to the ask is to progressively build skills and as you build the skills ask the participants to practice.

So where do you begin in this training?

With the basics.

Provide information about writing for each medium.

Web - concise, directed, bullets, data, transparent, keywords, audience oriented, purposeful
--read some good articles

Email - stories, links, call to action, news
--read some good articles

Social Media - when training you need to remember that they are all different. You can count on mass publishing for all of your content. You have to continuously show how to adapt content to audiences and the medium.

Facebook - personality, engaging, images, video, humor, questions
--read some good articles

LinkedIn - professional, jobs, volunteers, news, connections, collaboration
--read some good articles

Twitter - timely, replies, frequent, repeats ok, short, humor
--read some good articles

Not sure if you noticed what I did there. I started by talking about training your staff on how to write, but then send you to a bunch of good articles to read for yourself.

That's right, the first training that has to happen is that YOU realize that no matter how long you have been creating content for any medium, you need to take time to train yourself in order to train others. Take time to read articles (or at least scan them) to refresh your thinking, see new trends or pick up tips.

Then take the articles and use them as training tools. Pick the resources or articles that best match your org, your goals or your approach and share them in a central place for all staff. Using an outside source will establish authority and importance. Plus you don't have to do as much work.

Build your trainings around information that people can relate to. Don't get buried in showing them the steps.

An important note about training staff. Most of the time staff don't want the training until they are already in the middle of the process. They get started and realize they need some help. Make sure your trainings can be accessed at any time. Create cheat sheets, recordings, a list of resources, etc.

So finally, here is the key to all of this. Training staff for digital content needs to be approachable, regular, ongoing, focused on voice\style\approach and fun!

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