Message Accomplished | Brunswick

An hour of an executive’s time can lead to an entire month of content. Here’s how.

Communications professionals (and parents) will be familiar with the notion that messages must be seen or heard 10-20 times to be remembered. And nowhere is that more important than in digital communications, where a steady posting cadence is key to not only grow a leader's followers, boost engagement, and expand reach, but also to ensure key stakeholders remember them and their most important messages.   

Creating enough content to satisfy that demand may seem like a daunting task for executives and their teams, yet being a Connected Leader doesn’t take as much time as you might think (5 minutes daily is a good place to start). Nor does it require executives to constantly brainstorm new posts. Given that the most valuable asset in any executive communications strategy is a leader’s time, a smart approach makes the most of it by “slicing and dicing” a few key pieces of content into smaller chunks.

“Slice and Dice,” Rather Than “One and Done” 

Say, for instance, a leader records an hour of high-quality video footage. The standard approach would be to edit the footage down for the best clips and post those online. A longer, slightly less-polished version might be shared internally.  

Yet that same hour of video footage could serve as the basis for a month’s worth of content across multiple social media platforms. You might share snippets of footage on Instagram to tease the launch of a longer video, and later use quote cards to extend the conversation. A LinkedIn article might summarize key takeaways or explore one idea at greater length. Polls accompanying the video clip could directly engage your followers. And so on.  

Similarly, if an executive gives a speech or writes an Op-Ed, they can post a behind-the-scenes photo ahead of giving the speech, transform it into an infographic-style visual for social media, break out key points into digestible Instagram Stories, or even create audiograms of the best quotes. This approach will help make content work for leaders and their teams—not the other way around. 

The Value of More 

The most obvious benefit of “slicing and dicing” is that it generates more content from the same investment of time. Having more content allows leaders to post at a regular cadence—a crucial component of building credibility and trust. The longer a leader has a presence on social media, the larger their audience size, reach, and engagement tends to be—if that leader posts regularly. In other words, posting consistently (and authentically) becomes an increasingly valuable investment, as each post helps build, and engage with, a growing audience.  

And if you want your most important stakeholders to see—let alone remember—your most important messages, they need to see them more than once. The algorithms of social media platforms, coupled with the huge amount of content published on those platforms each day, mean only a fraction of your audience will see any message the first time it’s shared.  

All this new content creates opportunities for engagement—which, in turn, can help create opportunities for content. Comments on a post, for example, might inspire a follow-up Q&A. Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri answers questions he’s frequently asked by users through his How Instagram Works series, while CEO of bp Bernard Looney regularly uses video to respond to followers’ questions.  

But won’t it become stale or repetitive? 

The point isn’t to share the exact same clips across every platform, but rather to find ways to share content that’s thematically tied to, and reinforced by, a key piece of content. Executive Chair of Santander Ana Botín, for example, uses compelling imagery and videos from her travels for posts and articles about sustainability, maximizing the ROI from her photo bank.  

The content itself will necessarily vary by platform—long articles perform much better on LinkedIn rather than Instagram, for example—and by the audience you’re targeting.  

What if I can’t get an hour of a leader’s time (or they don’t like being on camera)? 

The “slice and dice” mindset is worth embracing whether it applies to a big speech, an hour-long video, or any important piece of content a leader has invested their time into creating. Only good comes from asking: Are we making the most of this? 

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Craig Mullaney, a Brunswick Partner based in Washington, DC, is an experienced advisor and a New York Times best-selling author. His Connected Leadership column and newsletter spotlight how modern executives use digital and social media to communicate and lead organizations. 

 Illustration by James Yang.