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Improving Business Communications:

Before and After Example

 

People struggle with developing content. It’s important to remember that every communication is marketing. In this ‘before and after’, I present some ideas for engaging an audience based on a networking group email whose organizers want to attract more people.

 

BEFORE

Hi Everyone. We had a tremendously successful and     content-rich meeting last week at Yaletown#1. After     our members and guests gave their personal information vignettes we     held a round-table discussion on “Networking Best     Practices”, which received such great reviews afterward that we     decided to hold it over for another week and continue it tomorrow morning.     Networking is a business, an art, a forte for some, a frustration for     others, but above all a necessity for entrepreneurs. As an individual     business owner you need to “see and be seen”! And ultimately, business is     about relationships…

If you would like to join us to dig deeper     into this subject please register for the event in the     Chapters section of our HOBN website     (and remember it’s August 30, Yaletown#1).

HOBN Yaletown#1     meets at The Buzz Cafe & Harrison Galleries at     901 Homer St., corner of Smithe, with a $7.50 cover and free parking on     Homer ’til 9:00 AM.

Hope to have you with us…!!

Your     grateful co-hosts,

Monika &     Neil

AFTER

Subject: Reminder + Specific title e.g. Networking Aha Moment

The word “reminder” in the subject bar does two things for current members: it accomplishes its job of reminding current members of the meeting and it lets current members know that they don’t need to read the entire email if they don’t have the time or interest. That way it accomplishes its job without creating resentment. Meanwhile guests feel privy to insider knowledge.

Adding a word or 2 about the content of the email demonstrates the content is dynamic. Members can read further depending upon their interest and time.

Format communications in easily digestible chunks. The fact that your group is the largest in the Lower Mainland is a great tidbit that you have not been highlighting in your communications.

What:  HOBN’s largest chapter meeting in the Lower Mainland. Expect at least 15-20 people per meeting.

When:  7 am every Thursday

Where:  The Buzz Cafe & Harrison Galleries    

901 Homer St. (corner of Smithe)

                Free parking on Homer St. until 9 am.

Investment:  $8.50-$10.70 depending upon breakfast options chosen. (The previous information sent out said $7.50 which wasn’t accurate).

Create dynamic and changing content. Stories are a powerful format to use in communications because humans are wired to learn through and remember stories. People often wonder how to incorporate the story format into their communications; I’ve provided a number of examples below. Stories turn content that is dry and educational into content that is interesting, inspiring and educational. Stories also provide social proof or context for your message that creates credibility.

Ideas for varying email content:

  • This week’s best networking story (can ask members to send in stories which engages them and reduces workload for organizers)
  • Meeting focus for that week – keep it very, very brief. Over explaining will kill the mystery.
  • Our unique take on networking e.g. Networking best practices (Your group has a unique approach to networking. Highlighting that approach will both cement the ideas for your current members and attract new people with similar interests).
  • Put out a question to the group: e.g. what would you like to get from a networking meeting? This is brainstorming – there are no wrong answers so put out whatever is in your heart.
  • Summarize thoughts from very powerful meetings (The shorter the better – capture it in 2-3 sentences if you can).
  • Networking Aha Moments (organizers can pay attention to their own experience and jot down aha moments so they have a collection of paragraphs they can throw into emails. When members comment on these Aha Moments during meeting, invite them to send in their own).

If you commit to creating content for 3-4 months, then as there are two organizers, that’s only 6-8 (short!) paragraphs each. If members get excited and contribute their own stuff, then that makes your job even easier. After 3-4 months, you can start to re-use some of your content to make your job even easier. Often, though, people find that having to pay attention for ideas to turn into content cements their own values contributing to their own growth, which becomes so much fun they are excited to do it (a bit like keeping a gratitude or similar practice).

For that extra spark in your communications… Let’s Chat

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