Best Practices


5 alternatives to ghostwriting
CEOs and your other big cheese executives may not have time to write their own articles or other communications to employees. But there’s no reason to resort to having someone else write it in their voice.

First of all, it very rarely is in their voice. It’s quite difficult for a writer to capture an executive’s usual cadence, transition words and tone of voice unless they have a lot of interaction with that particular person — as well as a great ear and memory. Employees can smell ghostwriting a mile away, and that undermines the authenticity of all your internal communications.

Here are five alternatives to ghostwriting for your top leadership, using formats and channels that allow executives to speak in their own words. They also showcase the human side of each leader, helping employees build emotional connections with them and increasing trust levels.

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The human voice conveys so much and can create a powerful connection with listeners. FDR harnessed that power in his Fireside Chats. CEOs and other executive leaders can use podcasts to build personal connections with employees. Use a leadership podcast as a standalone piece on the company values or a significant change — or make it a weekly or monthly update.

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A podcast can be a great platform for having employees share their perspectives, and for including employees scattered across global locations. Try asking the same question to a handful of employees — from how they describe the culture to how they see themselves supporting the vision — and edit into a podcast episode that includes a range of individual responses.

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Graphic quotes

Pull meaningful or particularly interesting leadership quotes from town halls, sales meetings or industry conferences to create interesting graphic posts with large type and possibly a photo of the speaker. These can be used in internal channels, but you also might reach employees (and job candidates) on external platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.

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Q&A article

Some business topics or strategic goals are difficult to communicate in a short article or intranet page. A podcast provides time for a subject-matter expert or executive leader to go into more depth and provide a fuller explanation. Use a podcast to explain the research behind a new product introduction or the business reasons behind a major change initiative.

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Fill-in-the-blank quiz

Nothing beats asking a handful of personal questions for building human connections with top leadership. These quizzes may seem like fluff, but they bring leaders to life for employees in ways that more serious topics just can’t. If you’re concerned about being invasive or posing questions executives may not want to answer, ask them to select five questions from a list of 10 or 12.

How can we help?

Tribe does internal communications – and that’s all we do. We’re a full-service shop, from audits and strategy to creative and production.

Steve Baskin
President and Chief Strategy Officer
Office: (404) 256-5858
Mobile: (404) 663-7910
[email protected]