AB Thinks  →  23rd May 2017

Outside in

Ben Hall

Think about the last time you bought a magazine on a whim. There’s a good chance it was because that publication was shouting about an exclusive interview with someone who interested you. It’s a simple enough reaction and one we should be keen to replicate in our internal magazines.

As internal communicators, one of our greatest assets is unbridled access to colleagues at all levels of our organisation. These people are at our beck and call, ready to impart insight and advice or to share success and suggestions.

But these aren’t the people I’m talking about. Our readers should expect that level of interviewee as standard. What we need is someone with clout, someone from outside the organisation.

Think about your biggest client, supplier or affiliate. Sure, your readers might work on their accounts or know what they do, but there’s a real chance to generate some excitement by tapping into your relationship with them.

For example, last Christmas we landed an interview with a representative from Amazon for the Post Office’s internal magazine. The global seller is a huge part of business for the Post Office, so it was a real coup to have them share their insights into the busiest time of the year.

Input doesn’t just have to come from transactional relationships. Network Rail publishes a magazine for business tenants occupying its rented properties. These are entrepreneurial SME owners, many of which are new to the world of business. The Government is running a Cyber Aware campaign for businesses, so we interviewed a Detective Inspector and cyber expert (main picture) who is fronting the campaign. He shared advice, examples and insight we’d never have had if we’d only tackled the topic internally.

So when you’re planning your next issue, think about who would entice your readership into picking up the magazine.