Tag Archives: writing

For the Content Creator a New Website is a New Car

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Photo courtesy CCL

Seeing an appealing new website come online is to a content creator what an exciting new model of car is for the auto enthusiast: One is itching to get behind the screens to an operating dashboard and take it for a rich content-creating spin.

Because the best sites make it a delight, not a burden, to create and showcase new content – particularly if you’re an enthusiastic writer and photographer.

The Coastal Conservation League (CCL) of South Carolina has just such a new website. It’s gorgeous. And immediately displays the astonishing amount of conservation work done in the southern United States lowcountry by the CCL.

However, as a media professional, I went right to the press releases portion of the site, and I am now busily touting how the CCL has presented their releases within the new site.

As someone who is often called upon to write press releases, which too often serve as a client’s only new content, I am constantly bemoaning how releases are not getting the “workout” some deserve.

Not only are too many of them poorly written (not by me!) and merely fired-out via PR Newswire, they are not made interactive (live, working links), they are not visually appealing, they’re not easily found on websites, and they’re not made easily share-able in social.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

CCL’s Laurin Manning, working with Wide Eye Creative, has clearly conquered all those media-related hurdles within their new site. I’m delighted to have their example with which to beat folk over the head with.

Rather, show them. Of course, it’s up to clients where they wish to spend their time and money. But nudging them towards investing in a better website and a better press release is always a media professional’s time well spent.

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How Committed To Your Constituency Are You?

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Smyrna

I started reading Ron Fennel’s (Smyrna, Georgia, City Councilperson, Ward 7) newsletter to his constituents, and several weeks later…

The exhaustively comprehensive newsletter was nothing if not long, detailed, and ridiculously informative. Seems the Smyrna councilperson loves pounding the keyboard almost as much as another Smyrna resident, Bob Barr.

Heck, within a few graphs I found out who the police chief was from a detailed photo, noted an email address I needed, and saw at least two Facebook friends mentioned in the copy.

Now I’m all for brevity on online communications, but the darn thing was so informative I say… go for it. Inform your constituency! And don’t stop until you’re done.

But how I wish other public servants who represent us would do the same.  And comprehensively and exhaustively so is just fine by me — if you’re elected to serve us the people.

In fact, our elected servants should seek clarity and transparency of communications on their keyboards until they drop from exhaustion, you ask me. That’s what good writers do. Write to the point of exhaustion, right?

You don’t have to thrown in what you had for breakfast three Tuesdays ago, as Councilperson Fennel almost does, but if  you do not yet have a newsletter but you do have a constituency (to serve) I suggest using Fennel’s newsletter as a model… for how to improve and clarify your community outreach and communications. After all, it really is your responsibility and duty. To us.

Your newsletter certainly doesn’t have to be as long and detailed as this one, but don’t forget some photos! Videos are good. Kitchen sink, too. And don’t be intimidated at the thought of starting one. Just a few graphs and an e-mail distribution list (you already have that) will do for a first effort. Set a time expectation too. Will you publish/send a newsletter every month? Every week? If so, let your audience know what exactly you’re going to be doing. Then go do it.

You can add bells and whistles to a newsletter as you gain confidence with your writing and your multimedia inclusions. Up the quality of your photos, eventually. Follow-up on things mentioned in a prior newsletter. Add a helpful link or three.

For example, I’m hoping the next newsletter from Mr. Fennel of Smyrna, Ga. will include a link to that Instagram account mentioned in the July letter regarding some Smyrna Boy Scouts and a sidewalk mapping project. Sounded interesting!

And if you need a newsletter written, edited, and distributed for you, well… you know who to ask.

BTW… if you haven’t been to Smyrna, Georgia lately you should go. Do a drive about. Snoop around over some pretty real estate. Place looks great.

Wikipedia Needs Women!

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A mere 13% of the entries within the invaluable, online, open encyclopedia Wikipedia are written by women. This needs to change! I urge all women business owners to get in there and get an entry about themselves/their company on Wikipedia. If you need someone to write it for you, contact me. Now. Let’s change this critical, interactive, participatory, FREE and very important dynamic.

From the NYT:

Everyone brings their crumb of information to the table,” she said. “If they are not at the table, we don’t benefit from their crumb.