Nothing puts people to sleep like discussing finance legislation, pre-budget submission process and parliamentary procedure. Even though what happens on Parliament Hill can have an important impact on the day to day lives of Canadians, we aren’t anxious to talk about politics and the (often) boring processes that govern decision-making in our country.
Successful political communications involves building a story that is easily consumed by a wide audience, and clearly relays the direct impact of a policy, legislation, grant etc. to the audience in question. Billions of dollars spent on infrastructure is an abstract initiative to most, but quantifying this into X number of new recreation centres, naming certain highways that will benefit from funding etc. can bring a broad concept to a much more individual level. In many ways, it is taking a deep depth of focus and moving it into a shallow depth of focus.
What I have learned in my time in this course is the importance of telling a story with every article or post that is published, and not being afraid to show the personality behind our company. A huge part of our brand identity at Summa is our people – and we should be putting both them and their words on display (unedited) as much as possible. This will help relay our brand to a wider audience and showcase the talent of our team.
There are also ways to make dry government relations content a little more exciting for the reader. Not burying the lead, creating snappy lists, keeping the tone light etc. are some writing styles that I think we can use to create interesting content for the reader. I also learned the importance of sharability of our content online; a good graphic affiliated with a post, linking back to other content, and asking questions of our audience will help in bringing more viewers to our website.
One of the biggest things I have learned is the importance of regular, current content. Social media cannot be done from the side of a desk; it has to be a full effort, integrated in broader communications initiatives set out by the company. We’ve started taking steps to treat social media with the importance it deserves, and now, we can create content to help reinforce the importance of digital communications to establishing our brand and growing our audience.