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Make your corporate communications sing

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in Centerpiece,Office Communication,Workplace Communication

Whether you’re writing for a company blog, newsletter or e-newsletter, your goal is to keep readers coming back for more.

So you might appreciate these in-the-know tips from Hollis ­Thomases, president and CEO of Web Ad.vantage and author of Twitter Marketing. He offers a short list of common mistakes people make when creating content:

Mistake #1: A lack of diversity among stories or posts. Too many blog posts sound the same. Readers who find too much of the same thing will stop being interested.

When planning what to post next on a corporate blog or newsletter, Thomases keeps a “mix and match” matrix handy to stimulate creative thinking.

The matrix works like this: First, choose a topic idea from the left column. Then choose a type of content from the right column.

The result might be “Make a prediction about industry news” or “Create an instructional video.”

(Left column) Topic ideas:

Company news, industry news, opinions/reactions, upcoming events, statistics & studies, multimedia (photos, videos, podcasts, etc.).

(Right column) Types of content:

Instructional/how-to, informational, review, list, interview, case study, profile, link list, problem, contrast two options, rant, inspirational, research, collation, prediction/review, critique, debate, hypothetical, memo/project.

Mistake #2: A bunch of unbroken text. On a blog, especially, it’s so easy to enhance a story with photo­­graphs, polls, surveys and video clips that “it’s a crime to just have paragraphs and paragraphs of text,” says Thomases.

Mistake #3: A bland voice. What does “voice” mean? Think about the tone Apple or Southwest Airlines uses when it communicates. Voice is your personality when it comes to the written word. Make it sing.

Says Thomases, “Who wants to do business with a limp noodle?”

— Adapted from “8 Common Mistakes of Company Blogs,” Hollis Thomases, Inc.

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