‘Follow the Intern’ – A game of risk and chance!
Most businesses play ‘Follow the Leader’ when it comes to decision making about messaging.
Except when it comes to website content. Instead, too many businesses and non profits play ‘Follow the Intern’ or ‘Follow the Co-op Student’. Many Leaders think ‘Oh, he’s young and he knows about that stuff’ and delegate the responsibility for writing website content to the most inexperienced, most temporary and most overloaded member of the staff team.
It is a decision often driven by lack of knowledge or fear of technology within the leadership. It is a major gamble where the odds of success are not good. Getting the summer Intern to write website content is like asking them to stand up at the AGM and give the review of the business year.
After they have been there one day…
As someone who has advocated for years for youth to have better placements and opportunities, I am not saying that they should not be given responsibility. I am just not a fan of giving learning youth tasks that set them and the organisation up for failure.
Crafting and controlling the messaging for the organisation starts with the leadership. Current and potential customers or donors, partners, suppliers and the general public all have access to the website. Often, leaders put a lot of hard work into creating print materials, training staff on how to sell their business or products, creating an elevator pitch, developing a great phone message, etc and then neglect their most utilised business communications tool.
If you are struggling with your website content, the great news is you have options! You can hire a great writer or Engagement Consultant (apologies for this but – Hint! Hint!) or you can find the talent that lies in your current team. Hold an internal writing contest for your staff to see who can create the best home page. Find out who on your team loves writing and has been desperate to get hold of your WordPress admin credentials. Find experienced and qualified volunteers who have experience in marketing. Have a go yourself and bring out your inner MadMan or MadWoman!
You can even give it to the Intern AFTER they have received full training in your company mission and mandate, have spent at least 3 months in your organization AND have proven themselves to be a great writer. Then, if they do a great job, make them a coffee.
They’ve earned it!
Now let’s talk about your social media strategy…