Want to improve your chances of winning one of the top three prizes in the 2009 LEAN Communications™ contest?
Follow these three simple, yet tricky guidelines that have tripped up past entrants. These guidelines also can help you with your regular work.
(As background, this annual contest, which is FREE again this year, is designed for LEAN Communicators who are working smarter. The contest recognizes individuals who achieve outcomes, not outputs. Your work doesn’t have to be pretty, complicated, or multifaceted. Instead, it needs to fit a need and get results.)
1. Be brief. Use just one page to write up entry, as required. Spare the air and get to the point. As one of my clients used to say, “If it takes a staple, it’s too much information.”
2. Be bright. Crisply describe the direct results and value you achieved with your communications. Remember, your goal is to get measurable results, not to undertake activities. Your customers care about what you’re doing FOR them to add value, not what you’re doing. So out with outputs and in with outcomes.
3. Be gone. Email the entry form to email@example.com by the Aug. 14 deadline with a custom file name. Last year, 50% of the entrants sent in their application with the original file name: “2008contestentry.doc”. They were dependent on the contest administrator to rename, store and recover their documents accurately.
As a good rule of thumb for all situations, think before you name your files. If you and your organization don’t have a file-naming process (and you should!), consider what naming convention makes the most sense. Will you and others know what the file is? Can everyone easily store it? Can everyone find it? (For all the problems with bad document names, see my rant about the importance of having customer-centered document names.)
And special thanks to Margaret Lahey, Integrated Marketing Coordinator, MailerMailer. Last year, she won second place for MailerMailer’s e-mail newsletter process redesign. She and her team demonstrated to her customers – e-newsletter publishers – how to create an e-newsletter efficiently and effectively and maximize its value. She also volunteered her team to create the LEAN Communications™ contest seal pictured above.
Good luck to all you contest entrants!
Connect the dots plus dot the “i”s to be more intentional, inquisitive and inclusive
How well are you tapping into the skills and wisdom you need to lead in a BANI world?
All the old playbooks are out-of-date. Instead, you need to reach inside yourself, tap into your wisdom, and connect the dots for yourself and others.
To start, you can use these 5 tips to embrace your humanity and become a better leader.