Tips from the Experts: 2009 Making Media Connections Conference

Edited by Jessica Rosenberg

Words on the Web

Jessica Rosenberg

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 »

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