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The panelists for “How Weblogs are Transforming the Media Landscape,” at the Community Media Workshop’s Making Media Connections conference: (left to right) Andrew Huff (Gaper’s Block), Barbara Iverson (moderator, Columbia College Chicago) and Eric Zorn (Chicago Tribune). (Photo by Jason Pettus on Flickr.com)
The web has made it easier for us to get our stories out, but what about our events? Most journalists will admit that covering a nonprofit event such as a fundraiser won’t make the headlines unless you have some untouchable “newsworthy” guest or if you are savvy enough to bridge the event to current breaking news features.
But what most people don’t know is that news sites often have “community calendars” where users can submit their own events or tips to be published on their site and in some cases featured in the day’s news broadcast or news publication. Read the rest of this entry »
Edited by Jessica Rosenberg
Words on the Web
When writing on the web, panelists stressed nonprofits avoid jargon and use clear, concise language.
Especially when writing emails, Annie Kinnard Williams of EMMA said to never underestimate the personal touch. No one likes a mass email so when possible, address your reader by name or organization and keep the language conversational. It’s best to put your organization’s name in the subject line – that way your email is searchable once in someone’s inbox.
“Short updates on a frequent basis” is a good rule of thumb for email messaging, said Williams. Stick to a schedule and try to be consistent. And don’t rely on images to communicate information because some people block images and won’t get the message.
Brad Flora of Windy Citizen recommends nonprofits start using blogs to tell their organization’s story. Keep the language simple in blogs too, he said. Even though it sounds informal, it works.
He also suggests that blogs should include links to other sites or blogs because it tells your reader that you are an authority on your topic. Images are good too – it creates a visual appeal for your reader.
“The title of a post is absolutely critical,” said Flora. It’s one of the first things that will grab a reader’s attention.
A good way to generate traffic to your blog or site is to fill a hole in a conversation. Find out what’s missing in someone else’s blog and provide them with the missing piece. For example, Flora said if a blogger doesn’t have any photos that pertain to their post and you do, send them over and ask them to link back to your site. Read the rest of this entry »