Early in my journalism career (more years ago than I care to mention), someone asked me whether I was a better writer or reporter. Without much hesitation, I chose Option A, because I knew I was way too polite to be a real newshound. There were plenty of great reporters on the staff of that weekly newspaper who could barely string coherent sentences together. But boy could they produce compelling information. It was up to the editors and writers on the staff to help them tell their stories.
Today, the reality is that anyone who has a story to tell needs to focus on both skillsets, corporate storytellers included. Ensuring that your corporate blog has a real “voice” is massively important for helping your content and messages stand out from all the other digital words being published by the minute on the internet.
What do I mean by voice?
Reread the first sentence of this post, and ask yourself, “What have I learned about this person?” For starters, you know that I am a career journalist, and that I am vain enough not to want to admit my age in a public forum. Also, I’m not particularly aggressive but I have other methods of extracting interesting stories from the people I interview.
How can you add a compelling voice to your own corporate blog? Here are four suggestions:
- Keep it real. By disclosing something personal that relates to the topic at hand, the blogger gains credibility and captures attention.
- Avoid being too formal. Believe me, it is possible to disclose important new features or pricing or services in a corporate blog without requiring a legal review. Give your bloggers guidelines and then give them the freedom to say it simply, in human terms.
- Use anecdotes whenever possible. Let examples tell your story.
- Be realistic. Not everyone is wired to be a writer. Many business leaders and politicians hire ghostwriters and speechwriters. Your corporate blog might need to be a collaborative effort between a content expert and a writer who can help tell their story.