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Storytelling with Storify

Guest post by Community Media Workshop board member Teresa Puente

Looking for an innovative way to tell a story?

Try Storify.

Storify uses social media to curate and create stories.

You pull publicly available information from Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Instagram and You Tube. You also can paste a link from anything you find in the web and post it on Storify.

You can pick a topic that is in the news, such as a recent protest, sporting event or anything sources have posted content about on the social media networks.

Or you can create a Storify on an issue that your nonprofit is following. Say you have an event or press conference. You can take photos, videos, tweets or stories from that event and create a Storify of the event itself, of news media coverage of the event or a combination of the two.

Here is how you start:

Login with your Twitter account.

Write a headline for your Storify.

In the box below you can write a lede or a summary.

You build a Storify by using key words or hashtags (#) to search topics on the right.

Drag the content you want to use into the left space. This is where you build your Storify.

Also note that you can write mini text blocks in between each item you curate. You can use this for captions or add additional information about the social media content.

You may want a total of eight to 10 items in your Storify. Make sure there is a balance of tweets, Facebook posts, photos, video an text.

Then you publish your piece. You can share it with others on Twitter. People also can follow you on Storify.

Many news organizations and bloggers are using Storify as a storytelling tool. Once your Storify is published you can share the link or embed it on a blog or website.

It’s a great way to aggregate and curate content as well as share your original content that you have posted on the various social media networks.

See my video tutorial here:

 

Teresa Puente, author of “Chicanísima” blog on the ChicagoNow network is founder of “Latina Voices.com.” A veteran journalist, she is also an Associate Professor of Journalism at Columbia College Chicago and a long-standing board member of Community Media Workshop. Follow her tweets @tcpuente

Twitter Tips for Non-Profits

Guest post by Community Media Workshop board member Teresa Puente

As Community Media Workshop welcomes a brand new class of social media bootcampers this week; Workshop board member Teresa Puente reminds us that using Twitter is a great way to share information about your nonprofit and expand your networking connections.

Here are 10 helpful tips:

1)   Make sure your Twitter profile is complete and includes a photo. If you have the generic Twitter icon people will know that you are not a serious Twitter user. Always include a link to your website and blog and even a telephone number.

Teresa Puente’s Twitter profile picture.

2)   Twitter is about sharing information. It’s a two-way street. You shouldn’t just tweet out information about your organization. Only one in three tweets should be about the work you do.

3)   You should also tweet about news that impacts people in your field as well as information about groups with similar goals. Tweet about your “frenemies” and this should also nudge them to share information about your work.

4)   Tweet often but not multiple tweets in a row. If you tweet too much at once, people will miss the bulk of your tweets.

5)   You should have a schedule for tweeting based on time constraints. Try using a program like HootSuite to schedule your tweets 15 to 30 minutes apart. You can schedule tweets in the morning and for the afternoon or evening.

6)   Look up who your favorite journalists, nonprofit or policy makers are following and follow some of their followers.

7)   You also can find new people to follow by searching for keywords in your field using the #.

8)   You also should use some of those keywords at the end of your own tweets.

9)   Always include a link in your tweets. You need a value added to the tweet and use links that provide your followers with additional information.

10) Engage journalists and influential people on Twitter by asking questions or even complimenting their work. It might lead to a new contact, story or more.

Teresa Puente, author of “Chicanísima” blog on the ChicagoNow network is founder of “Latina Voices.com.” A veteran journalist, she is also an Associate Professor of Journalism at Columbia College Chicago and a long-standing board member of Community Media Workshop. Follow her tweets @tcpuente

 

In Defense of the Spanish Language: How to Give Meaning to Your Translations

Guest post by Community Media Workshop board member Queta Rodríguez Bauer

Ever since I came to this country more than 30 years ago, one of my pet peeves has been the poor quality of Spanish translations.

When I see posters, ads, brochures or signs, I cringe.

I even wonder whether the quality has deteriorated in recent years, or whether it may have become an obsession of mine to avidly read all translated materials that fall into my hands with the futile hope that this time I will find no errors. Most likely there is some of both, since the former feeds the latter.

As a result of the increase in the Latino population, there are two consequences that affect language. One is that there are more first-generation Latinos who learned Spanish from their parents. The second is that governments and organizations who want to reach Spanish-speaking immigrants are developing more materials in Spanish. But the efforts are often wasted due to the poor quality of the translations.

 

So why the poor quality? I have a theory.

My sense is that more often than not, translations of items like brochures, labels, taglines and signs are made by first-generation Latinos, employed by the organizations that need the translations. These employees are acculturated Americans, having grown up and gone to school here, and speak Spanish because their parents spoke Spanish to them when they were growing up. They are well-intentioned when they offer their services; they will save their organization some money and show their willingness to help; and the organization may also view this as a money-saving practice. And how hard can it be to make a short translation? (For long translations organizations usually use professional services.)

The problem is that often the people making the translations have grown up hearing or speaking the wrong vocabulary or the incorrect syntax without realizing it. Moreover, people may repeat the incorrect words so many times that after a while they stop sounding weird.

In some cases, first-generation Latinos come from immigrant homes where the parents had little formal education because they had to work as children. These parents spoke to their own children using a type of Spanish that reflected their lack of education. As a result the children picked up their parents’ Spanish, and their written Spanish lacks the correct grammar and syntax. Furthermore, because their vocabulary is limited, their translations tend to be too literal.

Many first-generation Latinos speak Spanish very well, and even write it well (including my daughters and my Latino employees). But even they make mistakes sometimes because they did not learn the language as they would have, had they gone to school and grown up in a Spanish-speaking country.

In order to have the best possible translations into Spanish, I recommend considering the following guidelines:

• To begin, if your English copy is confusing, unclear, or poorly written, you will have a poor, unclear translation in Spanish. (“Garbage in, garbage out.”) Make sure your English copy is clear and understandable.

• Always have a professional, or somebody who was educated in a Spanish speaking country, translate your materials, or at least review the translations your first generation Spanish speakers did for you.

• When you know you are going to need materials in both languages, develop the materials in English and Spanish at the same time, with the help of a bilingual person. Sometimes people think of taglines or descriptions that sound very well in English, but once translated don’t make very much sense. They then have to be explained in Spanish, taking much more space than normal, which is important for graphic designers.

• Keep in mind translations into Spanish normally expand about 30%. Your graphic designer will have to take that into account.

• Do not confuse correct grammar and syntax with style. As with English, things can be correctly described but awkwardly phrased.

• Do not use metaphors or sports terminology in English or be prepared to use a different metaphor in Spanish.

• If possible, run your translations by native Spanish speakers from several countries to make sure you are not using words that may be offensive, or at least strange, for other nationalities. For instance: “guaguá” in Mexico means doggy, and “guagua” (no accent) means “bus” in Caribbean countries and “baby” in Andean countries.

• It seems obvious, but many people, whether they are native speakers or not, forget that when in doubt they can use a dictionary. I also recommend WordReference.com to verify the meaning of words; the website even has very useful discussion forums and links to authoritative sources. But avoid overly literal translations!

While trying to reach Latinos in the U.S., one of the first rules is to show respect for your audience by showing respect for the language.

It can seem rather condescending to provide materials in Spanish that are plagued with mistakes. Good communication, whether in English or in another language, is all about meaning; and meaning has to be conveyed with clarity. If your English copy is clear, and your Spanish translation has the correct syntax and vocabulary, it doesn’t matter if the translation is not literal. You will be saying what you mean.

 

Queta Rodríguez Bauer, MSC, ABC, is Principal of Cultural Communications, LLC., a strategic communications firm in Chicago. She may be reached at 773-285-1055 or qbauer@culturalcommunications.com.

Modern Mobilizing: Activism in the Digital Age

Guest post by Thom Clark

The Internet brought more information to each of our desktops than we ever dreamed of 10, 15, 20 years ago. But in the last five years, the rise of social media and digital tools, like the tablet and smart phone, are transforming how many organizations get their work done, engage existing members and expand their base.

“While engaging your current community is critical to fulfilling your organizational mission,” according to Tracy VanSlyke, co-director of The New Bottom Line, “Broadening your community to advance your work is equally important.”

Effective use of digital tools for organizing one’s members, campaigns and program is critical in this 24/7 world of data dumps and info overload.

VanSlyke will moderate an afternoon panel June 4, 2013 at Making Media Connections on activism in the Digital Age, featuring activists who use digital tools in their work: Martin Macias, Jr. of Chicago Fair Trade; Eric Tellez of Grassroots Collaborative and Charlene Carruthers of National Peoples Action.

“Digital tools allow you to go beyond one-way organizing to engage and build relationships within your community,” she says. “If you want to be influencing the media, to expand and deepen impact of your work, you have to be serious about building community both online and off line.”

A veteran of many local and national campaigns, most recently around stemming the tide of home foreclosures and holding banks more accountable, VanSlyke will engage her panelists in a conversation about successful, and some not so successful efforts to use these tools to further organizational goals. “There is still so much to be discovered with these new tools,” she reports, “with many possible complications. It’s still more an art form than a science, that is constantly evolving with experimentation.”

——————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Modern Mobilizing: Activism in the Digital Age
2:15-3:30 June 4 Film Row Cinema, Columbia College 1104 S Wabash

Digi-wha? Digital organizing is modern campaigning and we’re here to help you improve your digital work in activism and organizing. Learn how digital tools, like social media, can help you not just say something, but be heard.  Panelists: Martin Macias, Jr. (Media activist/Youth Organizer at Chicago Fair Trade); Charlene Carruthers (National Peoples Action); Eric Téllez (Grassroots Collaborative); Moderator: Tracy Van Slyke (co-author of The Echo Chamber)

Should Your Nonprofit Have a Pinterest Presence?

guest post by Marissa Wasseluk, originally posted here.

While covering the “Top 5 Social Media Platforms” during a recent social media training, one participant asked me, “Do our organizations really need to be on Pinterest?”

To which I answered yes, and no.

We’ve seen some nonprofits use the platform effectively because they know how to speak to their audience and can pull from a plethora visual content. Some nonprofits create boards centered around a specific fundraising and/or awareness campaign.

Since most website referrals today come from Pinterest, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to be on the platform. But before you add another online to-do to your communications plan, ask yourself a few questions first.

Question #1 –  Is your audience on Pinterest?

The general pinning audience** is:

  • Females between the ages of 25 – 54
  • Have an income between $25,000 – $75,000
  • Are visually stimulated & like “collecting”

Stats collected from ComScore – except for that last one, that last stat was all me and my keen powers of observation.

**It should be noted that these stats reflect American trends. In the UK your average pinner is male.

Question #2 – Is your site or your content ‘pin-able’?

Do you post pictures worth a thousand words on your site? Can you get your point across with a picture? Do you make your content easy to share?

Question #3 – Will you change your current communications plan to accommodate the Pinterest platform? 

The rise of Pinterest definitely changes the digital communication game. Its rapid growth is proof of how visually-driven digital consumers are. Does this mean digital producers should create more visually stimulating content?

*cough*yes*cough* A smart digital marketer or blogger would change the format of their posts to accommodate this pin-nomenon (hehehe). They would make their content graphic-rich and add the Pinterest button to their posts.

So if you’ve answered “yes” to these questions, you may want to add Pinterest to your organization’s social media plan!

Need Pinspiration? Take a look at the Workshop’s Pinterest presence! Or, Take a Look at Nonprofit Pinterest Strategies!

Top 5 summer iPhone apps for the nonprofit communicator

 

I know… some of you might be saying… “iPhone apps? What about Android and Blackbery?” Well, here at the Workshop a majority of us are iPhone users. But, we would love to hear what apps you are using on other platforms. Add your comments below!

Here’s what we love using lately… Read the rest of this entry »

All the media tools you need to tell your story – for free!

In addition to communications trainings and one-on-one consulting, the Community Media Workshop also provides a wide range of free resources to help you get your organization’s story to the right reporter. Here are just a few of the many media outreach tools and tips you can find on our website.

Press release generator. Interested in creating a press release about your issue or campaign? Check out our press release generator to help you get started.

Media Event Quick Contact List. Looking for the most up-to-date quick contact list of assignment desks and editors at Chicago’s major media outlets? Download the 2012 Media Event Quick Contact List.

Community Calendars. If you have an event coming up that you want listed in Chicago media calendars, check out this resource to see a comprehensive list of calendars and links where you can submit your information.

Submit to Newstips. Newstips is the Workshop’s blog that distributes news tip information, submitted by hundreds of nonprofits across Chicago, to more than 500 journalists. Email Newstips Editor Curtis Black at curtis@newstips.org with your story ideas.

Tip sheets, worksheets and up-to-date information about the shifting media landscape. We’re constantly publishing new tips and tools for nonprofit communicators such as how to set up your organization’s Google+ page or tips for building and maintaining your media list. Subscribe to our bi-weekly electronic newsletter or visit the NP Communicator blog weekly to see what’s new.

And don’t forget about Chicago’s most comprehensive media guide, Getting On Air, Online & Into Print. If you want contact information for thousands of Chicago-area and Midwest media outlets and reporters, subscribe to our 2012 media guide. Now in print and online.

If you’re interested in registering for scheduled trainings, visit our training page to check out what’s coming up. At the beginning of 2012 we’ll be offering Professional Media Relations, a five-part course that culminates with nonprofits pitching their stories to reporters face-to-face. For the first time ever, we’re also offering an intensive Social Media Bootcamp where attendees will walk away with an online communications strategy and social media policy for their organizations.

If you prefer a custom training for your organization or one-on-one consulting, contact me at nora@newstips.org or 773/510-4819. You can read more about two of the organizations we’ve recently provided one-one-one communications assistance to–Investing In Communities and LISC’s Smart Communities Program–at the NP Communicator blog.

Let us know if there are other resources you’d like to see on our website or training topics you hope we cover in the future. We want to hear from you!

 

An essential resource for every Chicago nonprofit and grassroots group… download it here

When I was a communications staff for a regional nonprofit organization here in Chicago over 10 years ago, I spent plenty of time calling and faxing city news desks and assignment desks very early in the day of an event or press conference to ensure that we were included in their agenda. Through this on-going communication and development of relationships with assignment desk editors I found out what times they were meeting, what information they needed and exactly who would be possibly covering our story or event. This practice got us coverage, helped expand our relationships with the media and pushed our mission forward to the public. Read the rest of this entry »

Video: Why Google can’t give you the same data as our media guide

Workshop Media Guide Researcher Deanndra Bunch talks about her process to ensure the media guide data is up-to-date and accurate. Visit our website to subscribe to Chicago’s most comprehensive media guide today.

Media Guide FAQ #2 – Why do I need the media guide? from Community Media Workshop on Vimeo.

Video: Why is the media guide priced like it is?

As we work to complete the 2012 media guide Getting On Air, Online & Into Print, we decided to take some time to answer your FAQs about the popular tool. In this short video, Workshop Vice President Nora Ferrell explains why the print media guide and the online media guide are priced the way they are and what you get for that value. Visit our website to subscribe to Chicago’s most comprehensive media guide today.

Media Guide FAQ #1 – Why is the price the way that it is? from Community Media Workshop on Vimeo.

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