Like a lot of people today, I’m working from home. So, I got to thinking about how we’ve shifted the way we communicate. My day starts online and is peppered with emails, video calls and text messages. On breaks, I’m throwing in a load of laundry or taking a quick walk around the block. Long gone are the days of phone calls, in-person meetings, dropping by or getting the latest scoop at the water cooler.
Then there’s the children. Not long ago I got to spend time with my grandchildren. I played the extra eyes, ears and hands while their mother worked from home. Watching these small children in front of an online classroom interacting with their teachers and classmates underscored just how much things have changed, albeit we all hope this one won’t last!
All this to say, how we communicate has changed, pressing us to think differently about the way we reach our audiences.
We’re online more, so we need to think about how we’re presenting information.
Consider your website. Are you keeping it fresh and updated with relevant information for your readers? Online readers scan for information — at least I know I do. This means subheads and clever posts to help catch a reader’s attention. Good use of white space eases the reading effort as well as lists, graphics and information written in chunks.
Test your video conferencing choices. I can’t recommend the best app, but with the majority of your interactions on video calls, you’re going to want to investigate what’s out there. There are programs with chat features, breakout rooms and the capacity to deliver fluid presentations.
How are you using social media? Social media is a good way to reinforce your messaging and build your brand. It allows you to interact with your readers in a variety of ways. The key, however, is committing to a posting cadence you can keep so your readers have a reason to come back.
Are you connecting regularly? With the water cooler out of reach, regular team meetings to touch base and update are important. It also gives your team a chance to ask questions and build awareness of other projects that may intersect with their own.
It’s a different way to work, but one that I believe will become more like the norm before we know it.
Got a minute? I’d love to hear your online tips.