Insight Into Creating Contagious Content

Last month I had the opportunity to hear Jonah Berger, author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On, discuss his book and research behind word-of mouth and social transmission. In a very interactive presentation, he shared a summary of the key techniques that help information spread via his STEPPS framework — 1. Social Currency, 2. Triggers, 3. Emotion, 4. Public, 5. Practical Value, 6. Stories.


STEPPS framework from

While much of what he presents is geared for individuals responsible for marketing and advertising, I think that there are principles that we can leverage when discussing the workplace. Particularly when preparing employees for a new work environment, there’s an opportunity to transform aspects such as the workplace vision, key behaviors, and employee brand and make them not only resonate, but stick. Things to consider: opportunities to allow employees and visitors to be “insiders” within the space, visual triggers to keep key practices (i.e. reduce printing or recycling) top-of-mind, and visual public displays of top initiatives. What additional ideas do you have to put this framework to use within the work environment?

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