If your goal is to generate interest and employee engagement through intranet articles and emails, then your business writing should focus on staff members.
Want more clicks on your social media channels? Tell stories about people.
The Seattle Children’s Hospital learned that less is more in relation to producing online content. It cut down the number of stories for its InHouse newsletter from six to two features a week.
Though the new-style articles were longer and focused on hospital employees and patients.
According to Alison Zurcher, Seattle Children’s interim director of research and internal communications, the people-oriented pieces regularly generate more than 1,000 hits per story. Some get as many as 3,000 hits. These figures more than tripled the older formats for writing.
“We have seen an enormous increase in engagement with our feature articles,” Zurcher said.
Consider one of its stories that featured the change in the way employees’ time off and vacations are reckoned. Rather than highlight the benefits of the new system, the hospital found an individual to tell a bigger story.
InHouse related how an employee had a long tradition of placing flags on graves at a local cemetery on Veterans Day. Formerly, holidays were deducted against employees’ paid time off accounts, and as a new employee in November, this particular employee didn’t have enough accumulated tenure to take the holiday off.
The new time-off plan changes that by making Veterans Day one of the standing holidays observed by the organization.
Consider controversial issues
A popular InHouse piece focused on a patient who had been diagnosed with incurable cancer and was refusing further care.
The article addressed the dilemma that caregivers face and presented the points of view from both caregivers and patients faced with this predicament.
To keep the conversation going, the hospital has added social elements to allow people to comment and share stories.
After shifting its focus to people, Seattle Children’s Hospital is seeing results. Yes, fewer stories are written. However, the content is more popular than ever thanks to the subject – people.
Internal clients have taken notice of the content shift. When they request a story, they also must offer an interesting individual to write about. As the clients see the value of sharing information via stories, this encourages them to propose people to write about.