One of the complaints you often hear from businesses and organizations about blogging is that they aren’t sure what type of content to create to reach their audience. That they don’t know how a blog can help them build awareness for their particular product. That it’s ‘too boring’ and that no one wants to read a blog post about….
A recent blog post by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) disproves the notion that there’s just some products and services you can’t blog about. Let’s say you work for the CDC and your boss tells you to write a blog post that will explain how to build an emergency kit, and that will also raise awareness for the need to do so. Oh, and you also need to get Twitter buzzing about the post.
Even with the recent horrible tornadoes and storms that have ripped through the South and Missouri, building an emergency kit is not something that is top of mind for most people. And yet, the CDC has created a blog post that explains how to create an emergency kit that has Twitter buzzing and that currently has over 100 comments.
So how did the CDC take the topic of creating an emergency kit, and make it so interesting to so many people? They explained that you need to create an emergency kit in order to prepare for the zombie apocalypse.
Genius! What the CDC did is take a topic that’s not that interesting to a lot of people (building an emergency kit) and wrapped it in an analogy that is (the coming zombie apocalypse). Check out some of the tips from the post:
- Identify the types of emergencies that are possible in your area. Besides a zombie apocalypse, this may include floods, tornadoes, or earthquakes. If you are unsure contact your local Red Cross chapter for more information.
- Pick a meeting place for your family to regroup in case zombies invade your home…or your town evacuates because of a hurricane. Pick one place right outside your home for sudden emergencies and one place outside of your neighborhood in case you are unable to return home right away.
- Identify your emergency contacts. Make a list of local contacts like the police, fire department, and your local zombie response team. Also identify an out-of-state contact that you can call during an emergency to let the rest of your family know you are ok.
- Plan your evacuation route. When zombies are hungry they won’t stop until they get food (i.e., brains), which means you need to get out of town fast! Plan where you would go and multiple routes you would take ahead of time so that the flesh eaters don’t have a chance! This is also helpful when natural disasters strike and you have to take shelter fast.
There’s several things I love about the approach of this post:
1 – It makes the CDC seem ‘more human’. They are showing they have a sense of humor, not to mention a knowledge of pop culture. This post instantly makes the organization more accessible to more people. That’s a good thing.
2 – They are spreading the message on terms that appeal to their target audience. The CDC could have written this exact same post without the zombie references and verbiage, and it would have been far less interesting. Which means it wouldn’t have been shared by nearly as many people. But because the post was written focusing on a topic that’s more interesting to others, it will get shared by others.
3 – Even though the zombie analogy is added, the CDC’s core message still spreads. This post still raises awareness of the need to create an emergency kit, and now the topic is more front-of-mind for a lot more people. So the end goal of the CDC in creating this post, is achieved.
And the CDC was even smart enough to create badges you can add to your site/blog.
I love this approach, and I hope it will challenge you to think about how you can make your blog content more interesting to your readers. BTW thanks to Geno for bringing this post to my attention via his excellent post on what Zombieland taught him about community-building.