Ten tips for motivating content contributors.
I have an amazing fear of flying. It is only cured by what my husband calls "white wine therapy," preferably administered intravenously (although I have yet to encounter an airline that will oblige with the necessary IV equipment). Nevertheless, I get over my fear and travel by air at least once a month.
But my own fears are not the subject of this column. It's about another fear -- the fear of authoring. Fear of authoring is a problem that seems to be rampant among otherwise rational adults. Just ask people in your organization to submit content for the Web site, and you'll see exactly what I mean. Individuals who normally have opinions on everything suddenly freeze at the mere mention of writing a few sentences.
In the old days, management hired writers to scribe the Web content. However, as Emily Avila points out in "What Cultural Changes are Required to Make Content Management Work?" (eHealthcare Strategy & Trends), with content management programs and the demand for more frequent updates, it helps to have several Web correspondents in the organization. Short of white-wine therapy, here are some tips for motivating contributors -- even those with an intense fear of authoring.
Motivating others to write -- despite all the best technology in the world -- is an age-old challenge. Every author has her idiosyncrasies. Perhaps one or two of the tips listed above will help in dealing with them.
That said, by the time you read this column I hope to be taking off for a much-anticipated vacation in Italy. And yes, I'll make sure the plane is well stocked with those lovely mini-bottles of California white (we all have our ways of coping). Happy holidays!
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Susan Solomon is the executive director of marketing and public relations for Memorial Health Services, a five-hospital health system in Southern California. In this capacity, she manages promotional activities for both traditional and new media. Susan is also a marketing communications instructor at the University of California, Irvine; California State University, Fullerton; and the University of California, Los Angeles.
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