Snack-Sized Communications — Tip 1

In less than 140 characters, Twitter announced to the world that they were going public. In the 2 years since then, we are seeing more and more companies using technology and social media platforms for internal and external communications. This new style of short-form communication is quite different from the traditional format previously used, but is essential for organizations to understand.

Our last post on The Coolr talked about the ‘why’ of these bite-sized communications, and this week we’re focusing on the ‘how.’ These quick tips are going to show you simple ways you can replace voluminous chains of text with the preferred style among the busy, modern day employee.

Tip 1: KISS — Keep It Short & Simple: Communications should have a clear purpose and be be easily consumable. While creating your content, consider using the following process:

  1. List information you want to include. Think of this as brainstorming.
  2. Group similar ideas. Chunking makes it easier for us to remember new information.
  3. Label the groups of similar ideas with powerful headings and subheadings. Keep in mind that we usually remember the first and last 3 words of headings. Also, try to limit supporting text to 3–5 headings. When creating your headings and subheadings, ask yourself:
  • What is the main point of this section?
  • What words would a scanner need to see in order to know the message?

4. Add supporting content including only relevant and essential information. While drafting content, ask yourself:

  • What applies most to the audience and is it included?
  • Is the purpose clear and presented upfront?
  • Will the audience understand the message without this? (if yes, take it out!)

Additional things to keep in mind:

  • Shorten paragraphs to 2–3 sentences each making them easy to skim. Make sure the purpose of the message is in one of the first sections.
  • Add bullets to break up the text. Lead with descriptive words that will allow scanners to get the gist of the content without reading the entire message.
  • Present content in multiple series instead of all at once (like we’re doing with our tips!)

This process can be used when designing written and verbal content, and is also great to use when developing training courses. Once you’ve worked through this process, your content will look similar to the image above — a lot of information broken up into snack-sized bits that are easy to understand and digest. Although creating short-form communications requires more discipline, it is well worth it as the company will benefit tremendously!

Come back to The Coolr tomorrow for Tip 2: using images for bite-sized communications!

Written by Brooke Engelbrecht

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