Why it can be okay for organizations to share stories that might appear conflicting

Estimated read time: 2 minutes

We have to stay on message. On brand. Etc. Etc. I get it. It’s important that our brand is representing what it is, but it’s too easy to apply old school marketing techniques to the new world of integrated marketing and authentic storytelling.

One area where message alignment continues to come up is in content marketing projects – like blogs and social media.

Here’s an example from the healthcare field:

  • A hospital tries to increase the number of procedures and really pushes the procedure and its availability across all channels – online and offline.
  • At the same time a physician subject matter expert publishes an article on the website that outlines alternatives to the procedure for those who don’t want to go through the procedure and might qualify for alternatives.

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Now, we might think that these are two different messages and might hinder be overall success of one or the other. But they don’t, and here’s why:

  • The people looking for alternatives weren’t your target audience to begin with for the first initiative. But they are for the second project. (Let’s assume some of those alternatives can actually be done with the help of the same hospital. Even if they aren’t it’s still related education worth sharing.)
  • It offers a complete look at options.
  • It educates.
  • It establishes the organization as an all-around expert.

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And through the power of linking we can send people from each piece of content to the other. So, if people aren’t interested in the procedure but are in the alternatives, send them to that content. Make it easy. If they aren’t interested in the alternatives but want to find out more about the procedure allow that to be easily findable and navigatable, too.

Sharing all the relevant content and options can actually help us stand out more and people in our interested communities will even see us as transparent and trustworthy.