Suffering From Information Overload? 3 Quick Tips To Help

Are you suffering from information overload? If so, fear not, you are by no means alone. The world is becoming increasingly more connected, and so many different kinds of information is being shared. We can tweet, post to walls, update our status, write blog, take video, share video, text, read on an iPad, read on our phone, check out email, check into a location, and that is only the beginning, sometimes our accessibility to information and the connectivity we share feels infinite. We have accessibility to so much information and as a society, we are creating an unbelievable amount of data.

I came across an interesting article over on Mashable how Twitter reacted during the announcement of the recent healthcare ruling. If you haven’t seen the article, be sure to take a look – the article indicates that the healthcare ruling sparked 13,000 tweets – per minute!

So, with all this information being shared, communications professionals are now tasked to “cut through the noise,” and find where the real conversation is happening and understand the value of so many different channels. Here are three tips, and I’d love to hear some tips from the communications professionals in the trenches.

1) It’s Not You, It’s Me – Simplify Your Message

In any profession, it’s imperative to take a hard look at yourself and always strive to improve and grow. It’s a good mantra to have. So, to cut through the noise, make sure you aren’t inadvertently making more noise. Take a look at the photo below my Dad sent me, it’s a good example of a well intentioned message, but really, utterly useless. Key lesson – keep your message simple, engaging and focused.

2) Keywords are Crucial

As you start to condense your messaging, you’ll realize that there are some common keywords that keep coming up. Focus on these, look for the appropriate hashtag, and allow the keywords to help you think about how to create compelling and interesting content for your followers.

3) Find Your Niche

It’s important to find your niche – know what is really working and where the conversation is taking place. There are dozens of social channels to join and check out. It’s important to have peripheral awareness of what is happening in the market, but not always necessary to be on every network. Make the case for each network for how it will help you forward your mission, not everyone needs to have a Pinterest, Instagram, and Quora account. To set up an account and have it lay dormant, or with an unclear idea how to use the service, would be an error for an organization.

So if you’re feeling overwhelmed, try out these three easy tips – and be sure to share some of your own below. As always, thanks for the comments and for joining the conversation.

This post is brought to you by the GovLoop Communications & Citizen Engagement Council. The mission of this council is to provide you with information and resources to help improve government. Visit the GovLoop Communications and Citizen Engagement Council to learn more.

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Profile Photo Amanda Moskowitz

I have a question about using key words. How do you avoid sounding repetitive or “like the other guys?” I understand that you want to use terms familiar to your audience and/or plain language. But how does one compliment that with sounding fresh, engaging, and new?

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Profile Photo Patrick Fiorenza

Hey Amanda –

Great question! Been trying to think of a solid response for you, so hope this helps. In my last job I ran social media at Syracuse Habitat for Humanity, and I would run into the challenge you mentioned a lot. I wanted to somehow build up my brand, give broader awareness to the awesome work we were doing in the city, but also have a professional, unique and engaging tone.

Couple things I did was really think about, what makes Syracuse Habitat different? What is the unique story I am trying to tell? How are we different than any other local non-profit? Once I would find that out, I would use the keywords to tell that story and really stand out. (To be clear, keywords as in the right hashtags on Twitter, and language in blog posts, facebook posts, etc, some examples, building homes, building hope, that is one I used a lot while writing, then a handful of Twitter tags, and also tags in my blog posts). Hope that makes sense..

An example would be that I started a campaign of talking to homeowners and learning their stories, writing up a blog post and shooting some videos about the homeowners. I wanted to develop engaging and interesting content, use keywords to find my audience, and then build up a cycle of feedback. The important thing I was finding about keywords is that you’re not always participating, sometimes you just need to sit back and listen, see what is happening and then work to develop the rich and engaging content (which in my opinion, is a ton of fun). So you need to think about keywords as a way to help you tell that unique, engaging story.

I know that is easier said than done, but hopefully that gets to your question, so my biggest piece of advice is to focus on developing top notch content, and use keywords to help get the message out. And you’re right, with so much noise and competitors in the same space like Twitter/Facebook fighting for consumers eyes, you really need to think about how to best unique and find the right voice. Thanks for your comment!

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Profile Photo Amanda Moskowitz

Pat,

Thanks for your response! It was extremely helpful. My mentor in my current position taught me to start with, “Why should people care? What do they need to know?” I feel like if you can do answer those questions via an engaging story while at the same time using key words, you will hit the jack pot. Thanks again for your insightful answer!

~Amanda

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