The theme of a piece of content is the glue holding it all together – without one, your content has no context, no meaning, and no true value.
The plot to any great book, film, comic – anything you choose to consume – will follow a strong theme. This could be forbidden love (Romeo and Juliet), achieving a goal (Rocky) or good vs evil (Marvel’s Avengers). The theme of your piece is what your facts, figures and information all stand on. It’s the foundation and context of your content.
Context is crucial for successful internal communications (remember your audiences will be asking ‘what does it mean for me?’), so making sure your corporate content has a strong theme running through it is fundamental.
When writing for your colleagues, you need to meet their needs, and inspire them to engage and take action. Your themes could include:
You get the idea…
Once your theme’s in place, you can flesh out your points, make recommendations, provide examples, and give your reader a call to action.
One of the best tactics to get your colleagues involved with your content (and in the interest of truly giving colleagues an authentic voice!) is for them to write it themselves. Often, people are put off by the idea of writing something their colleagues will read. It can be intimidating if you don’t know where to start – but that’s where your themes can come in.
Use your strategic narrative as the base for any content you write, so you can tie it all back to the business’ objectives. Your strategic narrative builds a common purpose across all levels of your business and guides behaviours within the company, so it’s a good theme to base your writing on.
By giving your colleagues a theme and asking them to tell their own story around that area, you’re engaging them and pulling them into the heart of business success from the get-go. They may already have a theme they want to discuss – sharing their story will encourage others to get involved and perhaps suggest their own topics to write about.
Regular features can help create consistent themes in the content you produce. You may have a ‘Day in the Life’ piece, a ‘Team News’ update, a big interview with a leader, or event overviews and social area to encourage ownership and colleague involvement.
By introducing ‘signpost’ features, readers will know what to expect from the content they receive from the organisation and will feel more comfortable contributing to the ongoing conversation.
1. Finding a theme for your content is a great way to engage your audience, start conversations and get the results you want.
2. You need to find the glue that holds your content together – giving colleagues the context that will inspire them to engage and take action is a great way to do this.
3. Encourage colleagues to get involved, listen to their ideas and focus on consistent, collaborative communication.