Your executive and clinical teams are excellent brand ambassadors, but getting them involved when developing content can be a challenge. Whether you need a President’s Message for your annual report or a physician’s quote for an e-newsletter, consider these tips the next time you're securing content from a member of your leadership team.
Be mindful of your timing. Speak with the leader in person or by phone, if possible. Raise the topic of the upcoming marketing piece and your interest in involving him or her in the content. Make sure the timing of your conversation gives ample time to fulfill the request you’re about to make.
Provide helpful information. Succinctly communicate details about the who, what, where, when, how, and why. Explain the purpose of the marketing piece, the person’s role, and exactly what you want. Give examples to help clarify, and specify anything that may require preparation. Set expectations for the time commitment and the deadline.
Ask nicely. After setting the stage, don’t forget to actually ask. Avoid assumptions that the leader is interested and able to take on the commitment. If he or she is agreeable, list next steps in clear detail. It is helpful to clarify who will contact him or her, what to look for, and preferred method of communication.
Offer support. Confirm that the message will be used for marketing purposes coordinated by the organization—not the press; there’s no need to worry about making it perfect. In fact, you should give him or her the chance to review and approve the message before it’s finalized. Offer to provide a draft for convenience.
Write it yourself. If completing the project on time appears to be a challenge or you simply need it as quickly as possible, go one step further by providing written content to edit or approve at his or her convenience.
Have a backup plan. A good plan will allow you to continue moving forward even if the leader isn’t able to come through. For example, if you planned to interview him or her, include a headshot and contact information in a sidebar. Instead of a President’s Message, include a Mission Moment or Introduction using the draft you provided.
Not only will these tips help smooth the process, but they will set the stage if you need content from the leader again in the future.