Should fliers be forced to watch the safety video? Most definitely, writes George Hobica in USA Today. Whenever there’s been an emergency on a plane, we see videos of passengers doing the wrong things, such as escaping a crash landing carry luggage and not wearing shoes, or not knowing how to put on oxygen masks, he reminds us.
As a blog content writer and trainer occupied full time with getting people to read the content my team prepares for our clients, I was highly interested in Hobica’s take on the subject. His premise: If the videos explained the reasons behind the instructions they give, then people would listen more.
For instance, Hobica suggests, the exhortation to “place the mask over your mouth and nose” could be changed to “Place the mask over both your nose and mouth because otherwise you won’t get enough oxygen and you’ll pass out.” In other words, he’s saying, tell why your audience should follow your advice.
Acknowledging that “the longer the video lasts, the more passengers will tune out,” Hobica suggests that just one fine point be explained in person by one of the cockpit crew just before takeoff:
“Folks, this is your first officer. Before takeoff, I’d like to remind you that in the
event of an emergency evacuation, it’s imperative that you leave all belongs in
the overhead bin or under the seat. Do not bring them with you. Doing so could
cause death or injury to other passengers.”
From a business blog content writing standpoint, there’s more than one lesson to be gained from Hobica’s observations:
- The interview format can be very useful in creating blog posts that are more compelling in many cases than the typical narrative text. The blog writer serves as “reporter”, eliciting direct remarks from the business owner, key employer, or practitioner.
- Attempting to cover too much ground in a single blog post, we lose focus and strain readers’ attention span. Other things to cover? Save those for later posts.
The takeaways for blog content writers? Explain your reasons for your recommendation or advice. Then, for further explanation, bring in the cockpit crew!