Overfeeding the Elephant

by | Mar 29, 2018

When you have a large internal audience of over 8500 staff to keep informed, that’s one big elephant.

However, I sometimes wonder if we are overfeeding said big elephant. Do we as communications professionals sometimes offer too much information to digest? It’s often such a big feast and I am beginning to wonder if the elephant is much more selective in diet than ever before. My concern is that by overfeeding the elephant then it misses out on the really tasty bits.

I would suggest that our comms task is to continually amend the menu to:

  • Keep the flavour interesting. Actually, there isn’t really one big elephant but a herd of them of various sizes and each demand a different diet. We need to be aware of over generalisation and personalise what’s on offer.
  • Make sure it’s in bite size pieces. Leave out irrelevance that doesn’t immediately meet the objective – don’t fill them up immediately. Elephants of all shapes and sizes might have a decent memory but often a short attention span (for the social media menu that’s 2.8 secs). Keep it short and sweet. Here are some suggestions:
  1. Tweet 100 characters
  2. Facebook posts under 40 characters
  3. Email subject line 28-39 characters
  4. Internal audience video under 2 mins
  5. CEO blog post less than 1600 words
  6. Seminar 18 mins presentation
  7. Email words less than 100
  8. Social media video less than 20 secs