Monthly Archives: September 2010

Your Content is Never as Interesting as What’s on the User’s Mind

Here’s a tip for all of you in the Employee Communications space. It’s from Ryan Travis, Senior Manager, web and digital communications at Walmart. In this great interview from The Council of Communication Management conference, he shares Walmart’s strategy for communicating with Associates across their exclusive internal social community

Walmart found out that the way they were communicating was not in line with the way associates process information. They found that associates think of themselves first, their peers second and the customer third. After that, they think of the store, the home office and then the company.

Now every conversation starts with the associate first and how everything affects the associate. Gone are the “Announcements” from senior executives. You know them… {company} is proud to announce… or {company} believes that…

Instead, Associates speak first about how issues affect them or the customers, and then Walmart inserts themselves into the conversation, adding how those same issues affect the store, the company and in many cases, the world.

It’s a great step in learning, and a good lesson for building a brand from the bottom up. Don’t talk about your brand and expect people to listen. Instead, create a dialogue with people who already share your same beliefs.

The Future of DIY Recruitment Advertising?

I admire the marketing savvy guys at Stevenson college for posting this DIY recruitment ad to You Tube. In less than 2 minutes, they were able to convey a bit of culture along with the candidate’s 5 must-have’s a experience-wise, and one value proposition- the opportunity to have a bit of fun on the job with seemingly nice folks.

Quite a nice departure from the typical 12+ bullets of boring requirements that appear in most job postings. Best of all, I found it as a mention in one of my LinkedIn groups, which means it’s enjoying some modest viral success.

Having spent the past few days putting together a national recruitment strategy for a large national client, the simplicity of this strategy cheered me up. The ever-growing list of media, technology and social recruitment marketing options has fragmented our audiences and diluted our messages.

In our efforts to promote dialogue and engagement, content has left the building.

When newspapers charged almost $1 per character of text, we chose our words carefully. Although Twitter has brought the same consciousness to the digital world, the number of tweets is still endless. The more we receive, the less special it feels.

That’s why, in building my branded media campaign, my goal is disruption. In the old days, it was the white space that stood out in a paper crowded with tiny text. Today, I’ll call it white noise- a simple signal across multiple frequencies – a return to basics that’s so true, it’s arresting.