When connecting with readers online, the question comes up repeatedly: How much is too much? Or too little? While it may seem a back burner question, it's one that all savvy PR pros need to have a working answer to. With that in mind, I've developed a simple five question quiz to help you determine whether you've said too much"or nothing at all.
1 - What are you trying to say? Think about this first. Too many people sit down, and try to say too much about too many things. This leaves their readers feeling confused and unsatisfied. If you are not crystal clear in what you are trying to say, there is no way your audience will get it.
2 - Who is your audience? Speaking of your audience, who you are talking to is every bit as important as what you are trying to say. If not more. Your message, your point, even your verbiage, and diction will change -- or at least, SHOULD change -- based on your audience. If you don't know who will be reading, better stop and figure it out, before hitting "post."
3 - What are they expecting? No matter where they came from, your audience brings expectations with them when they land on your website. What you plan to say may not be what they plan to hear -- and that's okay"as long as you know that going in. The point here is that you need to be absolutely clear on what your target audience is expecting when they click your link. Otherwise, you will suffer the PR crisis of unfulfilled expectations.
4 - Have you said what needed to be said? Length is not nearly as important as clarity. If you can say what needs to be said in 300 words and a picture, terrific. No need to write a novel. However, if you can't get said what needs to be said in that low "traditional web" word count, you need to expand. Add a jump page, or link, or another avenue, but get all your information across.
5 - Have you left enough to keep them coming back? Never tell them everything. If you say everything there is to say about a subject, not only do you kill any potential communication in the comments section, you destroy any reason for your readers to return to seek more information from you on this topic.
Keep these five questions in mind every time you set out to craft online content. Remember, don't get hung up on the numbers. What you say, and how you say it, matters just as much as how much you say.