During last month’s team training session in partnership with Ragan Consulting Group, RCG co-founder and senior partner Jim Ylisela shared his wisdom on how good writing can transform your organization.
“PR gets all the glory in the external environment, in the media, with brand journalism,” Ylisela, said. “Inside the organization? Not so much.”
He added that this lack of credit makes an added case for internal communicators to improve their writing and deploy it as a tool to drive organizational change
Ylisela went deeper into how good writing delivers value to internal audiences by tethering business functions to news values:
Here are some of Ylisela’s specific tips for stronger internal writing:
- Understand the 80/20 rule. Telling great stories that showcase your organization, the great people stories and analysis are likely only about 20% of what you do. The other 80% is the day-to-day slog of getting information, messaging and content out to people. Ylisela says the ratio might be different but stresses being pragmatic about how the division plays out. “The 80% is really important,” he said. “We have to focus on making this communication just as good as the stories that write themselves.”
- Think of internal comms as an ongoing conversation. This includes writing about what happened, what’s new and what’s coming simultaneously. If we think about internal comms as ongoing it gives our approach more continuity, said Ylisela, “because it means we follow up on things. It’s staccato — we move from one thing to the next.”
- Work on making what’s important interesting. “The communicator’s job is to take all the stuff that’s really important to the organization and somehow make it interesting,” Ylisela said. “That’s our task, and there are a lot of tasks that are not, on their face, interesting.” He explained how internal comms can make a list of stories that keep coming up and desperately need a communicator’s writing touch, including:
- Communication around big meetings
- Strategic plans
- Financial stories
- Benefits stories
This full post is available exclusively to members of Ragan’s Communications Leadership Council, which offers best-practice sharing, networking and team training on internal and employee communications. Learn more about becoming a member here.