In my last post I shared a few ways in which a blog written just for your colleagues can inspire them to act as advocates for your foundation. Committing to writing a blog is one thing. Getting people to read it, however, is where the rubber meets the road. Here are a few strategies for making it worth their while. (By the way, these same strategies apply to blogging for donors and alumni.)
1. Make Them Aware
Just because you write it, doesn’t mean they’ll read it. Take the time to craft a simple launch strategy that leverages existing communication channels (including social media) within your college. In fact, writing an internal press release is a great starting point. Be sure to have your blog platform already up and running with your Introductory post and include the link in your communications.
2. Make It About Them
I referenced this in my last post and want to expound on it here. Let them know you want them to drive the topic of conversation. When a faculty or staff submits a question or comment for your to write about, be sure to include their name, position and a picture in the blog (with permission, of course). Doing so will help to “break the ice” for others to submit topics. Don’t be afraid to prime a few of your friends on staff to submit the first few questions/topics to get the ball rolling.
3. Channel Your Inner Jimmy Fallon
What I mean is be sincere and have fun with your blog. Sure, there will be certain times and subjects that call for a more serious and professional tone. Include fun pictures, links to relevant videos, acknowledgements, funny anecdotes and stories of real life donor meetings gone wrong (don’t worry, we all have them). The best way to build trust and engagement is by pulling back the curtain.
4. Be Consistent
One of the best ways to lose an audience is to post at random. Once people are in the habit of reading your blog, they come to expect it at certain times and frequencies. Commit to a posting schedule and stick to it no matter what. I recommend blogging once a week as a good starting point and encourage you to build a backlog of posts for the inevitable time(s) when you’ll be too busy to write. Pick a day and time that you believe will work best for your colleagues and be sure to include this information in your internal press release.
Lastly, be patient. It takes time to build a following, but the results are well worth it. Following these steps will lead to new and valuable relationships that can benefit your college.