Making Intranet/Internet Communication Personal Again

As a marketer or communicator trying to get your point across you’ll have to be comfortable with the fact that a goodly number of people are going to ignore what you have to say.

Am I saying that reflection and contemplation have gone out the window, another casualty of our attention-deficit-disordered internet culture? Has the deeply-immersive process of reading a book or a poem disappeared—the gentle unfolding of multiple plot lines, the vivid depiction of a character sketch or the undulating rhythms of a thought process well expressed? Ok, I’ll stick to my day job—dang, this is my day job 🙂 I really don’t know, and I’m not here to comment on that: I’m more interested in discovering what works.

Chatroulette, a website which pairs up random strangers for webcam-based conversations—while amusing—is a representation of what’s popular among our look-and-leave readership. As content creators I think we have to be comfortable with the fact that a great number of our readers are simply content consumers who really don’t see the possibilities for content creation presented by the web—how it’s a platform for artistic pursuits in the area of photography, video and music, and for writing/blogging and two-way community conversation that can lead to a mass movement. Lots of folks are not using the intranet or internet to create anything at all and a fleeting moment is all they can afford to give us.

So how can we get our messages to resonate with these individuals? We probably can’t, but I’m here to say that it’s ok. I’m familiar with all of the best practices of content-chunking and link-baiting to make our intranet/internet content more appealing to the click-and-run crowd. But it’s more honest to reckon with the fact that we’re not going to reach everyone…and to acknowledge that it may not be necessary.

Whom we need to reach are the change agents, the engaged ones, the ones willing to act on what they read. Though comparatively few in number, the power of their ability to influence others is worth more than an army of observers.

I continue write for them–and for you, if you’re still reading this. Let us continue to do so, and with John Adams let us dare to read, think, speak, and write because we have a unique vision, voice and message that the world needs to hear. Your world may be the employees who read your messages in the workplace, or it may be blog about Beanie Babies  with 10 subscribers– no matter, rock your world, yes?

Photo credit: Capt Kodak’s photostream

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In Category: Corporate Culture, Human Resources, Sharepoint, Social Media, Workforce Engagement

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Dom Crincoli

Show 9 Comments
  • george March 16, 2010, 4:16 pm Link

    One small complaint I have currently is that too many people seem to feel compelled to publish too much content. Over saturation, too much noise, too much for me to really have the time and desire to pay attention to. I would much prefer the occasional burst of brilliance over a constant barrage. High impact in moderation is the key to success IMO.

  • Dom March 16, 2010, 5:31 pm Link

    Thanks George, and yes, I agree. I think a great deal of the content out there does not get traction because the writer has not found his or her voice or because some external influence has convinced them that they have to update their blog on a daily basis to be credible. But I agree that we have to be guided by our own intrinsic motivation or inner voice in determining how often to publish. Almost ironically, as much content as there is out there I still can’t wait to receive updates or new insights from certain people—because they speak to me. And in the corporate arena, I think RSS feeds (opt-in) hold a lot of promise for eliminating the frustration felt from message over-saturation.

  • Chris S. Cornell March 17, 2010, 11:02 am Link

    Nice article, Dominic. Usually, I can find something I disagree with — even in an article I like. Not so in this one. You hit the nail on the head. I think I’ve come to some very similar realizations over the past nine or 10 months.

    Keep writing and I will keep reading.

  • Dom March 17, 2010, 11:17 am Link

    Thanks Chris– Your input is very valuable to me. Cheers, Dom

  • Management Sushi March 19, 2010, 7:59 am Link

    I think your penultimate paragraph is the killer one Dom! We’ve got to cut through the noise and provide quality, insightful content and drive informed engagement with those change agents, stakeholders, business activists who Rock our Worlds and have meaning to us in a business, personal or professional sense. Slicing through the noise with resonance, relevance and an authentic content and communications strategy underpinned by searing strategic intent is the best thing we can do!

  • Dom March 19, 2010, 8:16 am Link

    Thanks for taking the time to weigh in, Bernie. Thoughtful analysis, and very motivating. What’s more, I know you walk the talk everyday.

  • Judy Jones March 27, 2010, 8:24 am Link

    Dom, I agree with your insight. As P.R. practitioners, our targeted audiences, then, are the “influencers” – those choice few who are both receptive to our message, willing to take action and socially networked. They come with a disposition for engagement and, because of their natually-ocurring connections, are best placed to effect change. This whole notion is very interesting to me right now, because I just had a conversation on Friday about intranets and developing personae to help articulate the target audience. It all seems to link up together. So thanks for you great article!

  • Beth Gleba July 6, 2010, 4:11 pm Link

    Hey Dom!
    You have a number of really great lines/phrases in this blog, my favorites are:
    o A good number of people are going to ignore what you have to say
    o Look and leave readership
    o Lots of folks are not using the intranet or internet to create anything at all
    And then, the KO:
    o So how can we get our messages to resonate with these individuals?

    What a great question! It seems pretty safe for me to say that I think any content needs to be individually valued before it is accepted by a recipient, whatever that means. Your title, “Making Intranet/ Internet Communication Personal Again” hints to this idea of engaging individuals personally.

    I’m reading a book now that I’m getting a lot of good ideas from, titled “Speak Human.” In it, the author says that social media is a really crappy way to broadcast anything. The theme of the book is “forget mass marketing.” I can’t help but apply those ideas to the thoughts you have in this blog post, especially this line:
    “… it’s more honest to reckon with the fact that we’re not going to reach everyone…and to acknowledge that it may not be necessary.” Instead focus on the change agents, the engaged ones. This is good stuff.

    Thanks Don for all the new thoughts, you’ve given me lots to consider and reflect on.

    Keep rockin’!

  • Dom July 7, 2010, 12:33 am Link

    Hey Beth. Great, I’m glad the post was useful. Thanks again for your thoughtful input. You always have an interesting angle. I find myself greatly indebted to guiding lights like Seth Godin and Eric Karjaluoto (Speak Human) whose thinking and writing cross-pollinates with our own to bring greater clarity to the issue of communicating in a world of information over-saturation. I continue to wrestle with these issues in my work, as I’m sure you do, and it’s always interesting to see how our learnings come together and dovetail. Thanks again. Dom