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We get lots of compliments about Smart tips; our colleagues tell us they appreciate the clever approach and useful advice. So you may wonder: How do we do it? And: Can you use the same approach to creating content for your employee newsletter and intranet articles?

Yes! We use a creative process that helps not just write great copy (our sage advice), but how we’re going to present/package it. You can apply this process to create your own fresh, attention-getting content. Take a look and try it out.


Think about the delivery

  • Ask yourself: What format you want to present your content in?
  • Is it a short article, a “top 10 list,” a video, a slide show or an infographic?
  • Are there any trendy formats that you can steal from pop media (e.g., Buzzfeed)?


Explore what you know about the topic

  • Think about past work you’ve done that relates to your topic.
  • Are there relevant articles or blogs that you can leverage?
  • Is there a great story in the external news/media you can use to illustrate your topic?

Sketch it out

  • Gather some ideas or content that inspires you.
  • Think about how you can support your copy with visual elements, such as sidebars, callouts, photos or videos.
  • Sketch a storyboard or draft a quick outline.
  • Get feedback from an IT pro or graphic designer on how to build the visual elements.

Draft it

  • Write down as much copy as you can, using your storyboard or outline as your guide.
  • Walk away from the copy for a day, then come back to fine tune it.
  • Share your draft with a colleague to get his/her feedback.

Build it

  • Work with available tools to build visual elements.
  • Whenever possible, get help from a designer or IT expert to add special visual interest or fun features.