“How do I write an article that makes pork belly sound so appealing that people will pass it on to others?” This is what my friend, who writes for a food blog, asks me as she mulls over the many new dishes that are popping up with pork belly as their star ingredient. She wants to know how to encourage her online followers to share this foodie news.
That seems to be the key question nowadays, doesn’t it? Not about the pork belly, of course, but about appealing to people and encouraging them to share. These challenges seem to be at the center of more and more conversations between you and your Comms peers as your teams ponder how to create content that stakeholders will endorse and share.
Many PR teams today focus on creating more content and increasing activity on new channels. In my friend’s case, this would mean more blog posts, more tweets and more status updates about the wonders of pork belly. But that just doesn’t seem to be the answer for companies in today’s fluid and networked environment.
Why is sharing so important? It’s not enough for people to simply like us, we want people to actively support us. At the CEC, we found that among favorable stakeholders, only 11% were actively supporting the company.
When you read a press release or a blog post or even when you hear a tidbit about pork belly, why would you pass that information on?
We’ve found that people are more likely to share information or content for a few reasons:
- If it’s relevant to themselves or their peers.
- If it makes them laugh.
- If it makes them look cool, smart or helpful to others.
These reasons might sound basic, but there are real opportunities here. Your team can actually tap into the social drivers that lead people to share. The CEC can help you write for impact with seven ways to engage your audience.
Let’s look at an example from State Farm to find out what writing for impact really means. State Farm creates a timely press release around Valentine’s Day, warning of the dangers of lit candles. Here are the things State Farm does well:
- Provocative imagery – “with a room full of beautiful flowers, dinner table set for two and the seductive glow of flickering candles…”
- Humor – “Romantic Not Frantic”
- Anecdotes – “data shows that February is the third highest month for home fires…”
So, what do you think? Will you share this blog post?
CEC Related Resources
CEC Related Blogs