Start intranet articles with storytelling
When Karen Hand saw the “Dilbert” cartoon that pictured employees hanging from the walls by Velcro, she laughed. Then she thought: “Hmmm … wonder if that would work?”
Hand and the rest of the Facilities team have tried just about everything else to find space for the growing number of associates at Sprint Spectrum. We’ve soared from 50 to 1,500 associates in a year, and we’re likely to exceed 4,000 by year-end.
“Head count is a moving target,” says Hand, manager of Facilities and Administration. “We want everyone in the company to have a comfortable, efficient place to work. But some days it feels like we’re just packing and stacking.” …
Do you need to win the hearts and minds of your audience members? Tell them a story.
Storytelling is the most powerful form of human communication, according to Peg C. Neuhauser, author of Corporate Legends and Lore. No wonder it makes a great lead.
Steal inspiration for your anecdotal lead from these three other intranet pieces:
In medias res
Start your anecdotal lead “in the midst of things,” as in this piece about Sprint’s 911 service:
A woman in Denver whose house is ablaze frantically dials 911 to get help. But she doesn’t have time to give her name and address before running for safety.
Her local phone company, which provides 911 service, doesn’t have the correct location information. Emergency equipment goes to the wrong address.
By the time firefighters arrive at the right place, the woman’s house has burned down. …
Set the scene.
I love the “his hands were steady” line in this piece about the first call on a new Sprint platform.
His hands were steady as he dialed [CEO] Bill Esrey’s Sprint PCS number at 9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 15. Douglas Hartung, director of site application planning in the Broadband Local Network group, was making the first residential Sprint ION call.
Field technicians had completed the complex installation process and were standing by with a group of representatives from the Sprint ION Installation and Repair Deployment group. As Hartung held the receiver to his ear, the others — eyes wide and eyebrows raised — waiting to see if it worked.
With Esrey’s first hello, they got their answer.
“Sprint ION is real. It works. It’s clear,” says Bob Welborn, director of the Sprint ION I&R Deployment group. “It was a monumental event, and we started cheering loudly in the background.” …
Start with the desk-pounding moment.
When was the moment in the story when someone pounded on a desk, and said, “We’ve got to fix this!”? That moment is the opening of your story.
Here’s how it works, in a piece about building a new telecom hub.
The product couldn’t be built in the timeframe required.
That’s what Cisco Systems told the team developing the residential integrated service hub (RISH) that would bring Sprint ION into the home.
“When CISCO bowed out last fall, we vowed to find another path that would keep the hub on track for its scheduled introduction with Phase 3 this fall,” says Bob Wiese, principal network design engineer who led the eight-member RISH project team.
“We knew all eyes were on us. All Sprint ION residential services will come through this hub. It’s truly the doorway into the home.” …
How can you use the most powerful form of human communication to draw readers into your next piece?