How to Empower Interns (and Other Newbies) to Create Great Content

How to Empower Interns (and Other Newbies) to Create Great Content
October 3, 2012

This summer we were joined by a talented and hard-working group of college interns. They were, of course, assigned the typical tasks given to those at the bottom of the corporate totem pole. They suffered through mind-numbing data scrubbing and wild goose searches for stats on the Internet. 

As a break from their grunt work and an opportunity to show off their creative skills, I gave them the task of creating a Brainshark presentation for the higher education market to be used for demand generation and other marketing purposes. 

To make sure they created a presentation that really reflected their voice, I didn’t micromanage this project or provide day-to-day supervision. I wanted to give them every chance to succeed, so I took this approach:

  • Ensure that they understand the value proposition and the audience.  I provided them with our messaging platform, our branding guidelines and an overview of our target audiences. Our new hire training includes this material as well.  Buyer persona profiles are also useful to help newbies quickly understand the audience. 

  • Provide a clear, step-by-step process to follow. I met with the team and presented our process for creating Brainshark presentations, which looks something like this:

  • With a clear understanding of expectations and next steps, the interns could               focus their efforts on developing great content instead of wondering how to                 proceed.

  • Check in on key milestones. I had the team deliver the content for approval at the stages described above before they could go on to the next step.  If they strayed from the objectives or expectations at any of these stages, we could course-correct without going back to the drawing board.

  • Give them access to examples, raw content, and other subject matter experts. We shared examples of other Brainshark presentations and our graphics library to help inspire the interns when they got stuck. We also made sure that other content creators were available to offer advice and guidance when necessary. 

  • Let their personality and point of view shine through. Don't expect the content to look exactly like yours – and realize that it’s OK!  Audiences appreciate the opportunity to hear and see your message from different angles and perspectives.  When we included the finished presentation in our demand generation program, we let viewers know that the content was developed by our summer interns.

We were delighted with the results.  The team worked efficiently and developed this excellent presentation. 

So the next time you have a potential new group of content creators, get them up to speed quickly using the steps above. You may be surprised by what they come up with!