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Ryan O'Hara

Senior Learning Designer

Learning Pool

Finger Clickin' Good. Apply

the principles of

advertising to workplace

learning

Like Brexit plans and the list of foods that give

you cancer, the job of the e-learning designer

is always changing. Not too long-ago learning

design was about taking a policy document

and refashioning it into a passably attractive

set of side-scrolling pages. Now, everything

from chatbots and gamification to interactive

videos and branching scenarios can be

employed.

Unite and rule

The ongoing quest for learner engagement

has brought a further dimension to the design

and implementation of workplace training. It's

no longer just about creating a self-contained

e-learning module - increasingly, the central

training comes wrapped up in its own

advertising campaign.

For example, a new health and safety course

might include e-learning and online

resources, but also short animations and

workplace posters that reinforce the key

messages.

If you devise a catchy slogan and visual

theme to unite these strands, before you

know it, you're 'doing advertising'. You might

as well be in 60s-era Madison Avenue, chainsmoking and liquid-lunching.

You can do it when you L&D it

The benefits? Well, repeated exposure to key

messages obviously helps the content to

stick. However, marketing tactics can also

answer a familiar lament of L&D departments

the world over: 'How do we get staff excited

about this training?'.

The solution lies not solely in the learning but

in how you sell it to your audience. In

particular, there's an increasing demand for

standalone animations and videos, as

organisations seek to add a bit of verve to

internal communications.

Where once a company-wide email would let

people know about a new initiative, firms have

found that a well-executed video on their

intranet can create a genuine buzz. The

speed and cost at which high-quality video

can now be created, helps, of course.

Sell the sizzle

Another big advantage of applying advertising

principles to workplace training is that it forces

us to distil the content to a slogan or tagline -

a 'big idea' for the learner to take away.

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