A Breed Apart
Cloning may work for sheep, but newsletters are a different animal. Print and online publications are second cousins, at best. Here are some tips to help techno-savvy communicators make the most out of Intranet publications:
- Short and sweet: Readers should get to the most important information without clicking or scrolling.
- Lose that lead: No matter how compelling your prose, the reader wants to get to the meat of the matter.
- Just the facts: Save sidebars, extensive quotes and anecdotal information for print.
- Be informal: People think of the Web as one-on-one communication, so keep text conversational.
- Go for the funnybone: Readers expect the Intranet to be fun; humor and colorful graphics work well.
- Right at home: The "front" page (or home page) is critical; it becomes the reader's navigational map.
- Lots of links: Create multiple links to related material so those who want more information can find it easily.
- Up the updates: The advantage of an electronic magazine is its timeliness.
- Instant input: Online publications offer a great opportunity for readers to offer feedback.
- Rules are rules: Just because it's on screen, the rules of grammar haven't changed.
- Download drudgery: Keep graphics interesting, but avoid those that seem to take forever to download.
- Get with the gadgets: For instance, put the chairman's address on audio; consider rolling text so the reader doesn't ever have to scroll. Technology is on a constant forward march!
Of course, none of this means that print is going away any time soon - or anytime at all. There's merit to having in-depth information you can stick in a briefcase to share with the family. And when people need lots of information at once, print is still the best way to go.
For all your corporate publication needs, Berry Associates is here to help.