A blog can be a great communication tool to inform employees of important health, wellness and benefit messages… as long as you can get your audience to read what you’ve written and published. You must first be respectful of their time, and mindful of their wants and needs.
Here are 8 tips to keep in mind as you think about internal blogging:
1. Frequency: Come up with an editorial schedule. Many organizations publish a blog once a week or once a month. You probably don’t want to publish more than once a week, though, because you don’t want to annoy your audience. No matter which frequency you choose, be consistent. Don’t let a few weeks pass without a blog if you promised one weekly.
2. Day and Time: Again, be consistent. Select a specific day of the week and time of day that you will publish each blog and stick to that schedule so your audience can come to expect it.
3. Topics: Come up with a list of areas you want to focus on. Make sure to provide variety, rotating in different subjects. If you selected a weekly publishing schedule, maybe the first week of every month is devoted to a National Health Observance for that month. Perhaps the second week highlights a benefits issue/question. Maybe the third week focuses on an employee testimonial.
4. Length: Shoot for 250 to 350 words. If readers can get through a blog in a minute or two, they are more likely to read it than if it looks like it will take some time. If you have more on the topic, consider using a link to additional information for those who choose to want more.
5. Headlines: Take time to think through what headline you’ll use to grab your readers’ attention. People like words such as “tips” and “secrets” coupled with numbers. For example, “Check out these 7 secrets to better sleep,” or “Here are 3 tips to maximize your health benefit.”
6. Images: A picture is worth 1,000 words, right? Select a photo or illustration that relates to your topic. When people recall the image in their head, they will associate it with and remember the message that went along with it.
7. Links: If you have additional information to provide or want readers to take an action, use a link — to a Website, eMail address, PDF, etc. Make taking the next step as easy as possible for your readers.
8. Publicity: Let employees know when a new blog has been published. Send out an eMail if your employees have work addresses. You can also put up signs in employee-only areas (breakrooms, lunch rooms, restrooms, etc.) with the blog Website address. Also, consider including a Quick-Response Code on the sign so people with smartphones can scan it to get to the blog.
Before you start an employee blog, involve employees in the planning process to ensure you’re giving them what they want and need. You might want to consider a survey as an initial way to gather employees’ thoughts and feelings related to the blog idea. For more on creating an employee interest survey, check out “Want to Know What Your Wellness Program Participants Think and Want? Easily Find Out With an Interest Survey.”
To learn how to involve employees more in all your workplace wellness initiatives, download “Workplace Wellness 2.0 — 10 easy steps to an inexpensive, community-based, volunteer-managed, thriving wellness initiative.”