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Getting staff to read what you want them to read

What is it about your corporate policies that makes people prefer to read Facebook and other social media instead of what they need to read to do their job efficiently and accurately?

The answer is one word – RELEVANCE.

Make your corporate information relevant

To get people to read your corporate information you need to make it relevant – relevant to the person and what they are doing at that very moment.

Nothing puts people off faster than being given something to read (in an email or training program or manual) and discovering that it isn’t relevant to them. If it’s more than a few sentences long most people will think, “I don’t have time (or interest) to read this now – I’ll read it later”. And then they never get around to reading it at all!

How to create relevant content

To make it relevant you have to write it from the end user’s perspective, considering what they will be doing at the time they decide to read it.

For example, providing a 300 page pdf file that contains everything that anyone in your company may need to know at any time about a policy, procedure or product and expecting people to browse the document looking for a particular answer or fact, is neither helpful nor relevant to that person when they want to quickly complete a task.

Deliver concise information that doesn’t get in the way

You should break up your document into bite sized chunks that are easily scanned so that people can quickly find what they’re looking for. It should also be presented it in a way that doesn’t interfere with what they are doing.

Provide immediate value

If people know that all the answers to their questions are found in a single place and they can quickly access that information when they need it, experience has repeatedly shown that they will read what you want them to read.

This is because it is relevant to them at their ‘moment of need’ and incredibly valuable in helping them meet their key performance indicators and be successful in their job.

Useful information is read

So the answer to making content relevant is to make it useful to a person’s ‘moment of need’ and use a tool like SupportPoint to deliver it in a way that doesn’t obstruct what the user is doing.

Only then can your corporate communications and policies stand a chance at competing with Facebook.

Ted Gannan

Ted Gannan co-founded Panviva after 20 years in a variety of senior management, sales, and editorial roles in the publishing industry, including Managing Director of Thomson Learning, Australia. Ted led the development of SupportPoint after identifying a need for an improved method of delivering ‘moment-of-need’ procedural and product knowledge to employees. He is responsible for overseeing the company’s growth worldwide.

Robert Noakes
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