I recently attended the Word of Mouth Marketing Association’s Talk 360 summit in New York City, where I had the chance to attend a panel specifically focused on leveraging word of mouth marketing for social good.
The three panelists represented the Vera Institute of Justice, the UN Foundation, and the Field Museum of Chicago. All three panelists had great insights to share, but the one that has really stuck with me was the Field Museum’s approach to content creation.
On social media, one of the most valuable things you can offer your audience is a connection to people and experiences they wouldn’t otherwise have access to. But when you work for an organization day in and day out, sometimes you lose sight of what your audience would find surprising or exciting.
The Field Museum solves for this by having a “Chief Curiosity Correspondent,” Emily Graslie. Her role is to create fun content that offers a behind-the-scenes look at their collections and the scientists who create them—diving deep into topics ranging from wolf skinning to bird vomit to historical footwear. What stuck out to me was that she doesn’t just talk about what the Field Museum is up to; she leverages the museum’s staff, connections, and expertise to provide exclusive “behind the scenes” access. And, as a non-scientist, she does it with an outsider’s perspective—so she can zero in on what would be interesting to their followers.
In your communications, it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of focusing exclusively on what’s important within your organization—which can turn your online presence into a stream of announcements about events and initiatives. Take a step back once in a while to consider what your organization can show your audience that they wouldn’t otherwise get to see—whether that’s giving them a peek behind the curtain or introducing them to a fascinating person.
Even without a dedicated “curiosity correspondent,” you can put on your own curiosity hat once in a while to refresh your content.