It is always our tendency to write for ourselves, as if every corporate communication were a journal entry. We use jargon our audience doesn’t comprehend, ramble about topics the reader doesn’t have patience for and publicize celebrations best left in the break room.
You know you need to feed the beast, but please don’t throw into your newsletter random content just to fill the page. Ask yourself, if you didn’t work here:
Would I care about this?
Would it make sense to me?
Would it make me want to read more?
Once you’ve done that you can really home in on what not only makes sense to your target audience on a minimal level, but what will really resonate. Always imagine yourself as the reader. Are you young/old, affluent/working class, serious/leisurely, etc.? Pay attention to how that changes your state of mind, then start planning your content.
An example might help. Let’s say you represent a bank and want to communicate all the wonderful ways you make your customers’ dreams come true through personal and business loans. You might choose to tell a story about a customer.
Not a bad idea … unless your game plan is to A) describe the customer for one paragraph, B) discuss your products and services for three paragraphs, then C) mention the customer one last time and tell us how happy they are.
No thank you! All of the above is in YOUR voice, which is a great way to get other bankers to relate to you, not your target audience, which are people with goals who lack the capital to reach them. To do that you need as much of the customer’s voice as possible, through Q&A, quotes, or maybe even an entirely first person narrative from their point of view.
All this boils down to one key point: don’t get in your own way. Your audience wants to read about people they can relate to. In other words, they want to read about themselves, and in their voice. Capture that and you’ve captured your reader, every time.