Where and how to start

The best place to start is with the highest impact messages. These are usually the first messages in a series. For example, the first pre-onboarding message or the first message a new manager receives.

When you sit down to write your first Pyn, ask yourself:

  1. Who is this Pyn for?

  2. Why would want to they read this message?

  3. What information do they need?

  4. What do you want them to do differently after reading your message?

  5. What action do you want them to take? What is the first step they should take?

A high-performing message will:

  • Provide context. Explain what information they will get in the future.

  • Be actionable. Clearly state the action they need to take.

  • Be timely. Provide the information they need at the moment they need it. Read more about this in Timing and Sending your Pyn.

  • Be personalized. Your message should be sent only to those who need it and with information specific to them. Read more about this in Personalizing your content and Targeting your content.

1. Write a helpful and direct title

The title and description of your message matter.

It doesn't need to be cute or clever, but if you want it to be read, it does need to be helpful. And the more actionable, the better!

For example, “5 things to do on your first day” is more clear and actionable than “What to consider when you join a new company.”

For help on how to write a more helpful and direct message title, see below.

It won’t be possible for all messages to have a title in the "most preferred" style, but you should aim for your messages to be as action-focused and tailored as possible.

2. Describe the purpose of your message in the message description

Provide context

Your message description should clearly state the purpose of your message.

When possible, make your descriptions action-oriented.

This is how your message appears in Slack.

3. Create a clear and actionable message

Now, on to the body of your message.

Here is how your message will appear on mobile.

If your message is the first in a series of messages, let your employees know what they should expect.

This helps them feel confident that they will get all the information they need at the right time.

Make it easy to take action

Tell your employees what they need to do and when they need to do it.

Make taking action easy by putting tips and tasks into the flow of work.

It can also be helpful to provide a brief explanation about why the tasks are important, especially if your goal is to change your employee's behavior.

When possible, encourage your employees to take action by letting them know what others are doing.

For example, encourage new managers to sign up for manager training by saying, "The majority of new managers have signed up for our new manager training and found it helpful."

Provide resources that help them take the first step

If you can, provide template documents, resources, sample conversation scripts, Do's and Don'ts, etc., that show "what good looks like" and helps them feel prepared to take the first step.

Do's and Don'ts of writing engaging content

Looking for some tips on how to create great Pyns?

Do

  • Make sure your content is timely, specific, actionable and direct

  • Make it visually pleasing.

    • Use different heading levels to break up text

    • Add company photos to the headings of your Pyns

  • When using messages from the Pyn library

    • Be sure to fill in any bracketed information like [date of review deadline] or [day of the week] that you see in the Pyn

    • Personalize these Pyns to fit your company’s style and lingo

    • Complete sections where you see “Pyn note to HR” with your own company’s information or links

Don’t

  • Send more than 2 messages per week

  • Send overly long or detailed messages

  • Send Pyns too far in advance of when the information it contains will be needed

  • Create Pyns with vague titles and descriptions

  • Be too formal in your communications. Feel free to use pronouns like “we” and “I”.

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