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Writing for the New Digital Media

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When it's online, it's all (and always) visual -- including writing. Protips for writing effectively for online digital platforms. Includes case example of editing for online readability. Session presented at ALDE Ignite 2016.

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Writing for the New Digital Media

  1. 1. Writing for the New Digital Media Meredith Gould @meredithgould
  2. 2. 21st Century Communications Digital has eclipsed print  Online  Mobile  Faster-than-fast Audiences want  Actionable info in near-real time  Connection and community 2
  3. 3. Effective Writing for Digital  Audience Awareness  Defined Goals  Clear Message(s)  Choosing the Right Tools  Coherent Design & Tone  Integration Across Media 3 Start with strategy!
  4. 4. Remember, when it’s online, it’s all (and always) visual 4
  5. 5. Ensuring Effective Online Writing  Style Guide (for editorial)  Templates (for e-newsletters, forms, PPT)  Review & Approval Processes  Consistent Monitoring  Training & Continuing Education 5 Find and use online resources!
  6. 6. Best Practices: Style Guide For Editorial Content Continuity  Guidelines  Tone/Voice  Spelling  Punctuation  Standardized text  Mission statement(s)  Disclaimers 6 .# not .##
  7. 7. Best Practices: Writing Online Content For optimal readability  Sentences no longer than 14 words  Words of three or fewer syllables  Paragraphs one to two sentences  Active voice  Personal pronouns  Contractions (“we’ve” not “we have”) 7
  8. 8. Best Practices: Writing Online Content You can generally ditch (edit out) these words to lighten and brighten text:  Is and the to be family: am, are, was, were, will be, have, has, has been, will have been, be  There  To  That  Of 8 While you’re at it, stop using:  Utilize (use)  Prior to (before)  Impact (affect)
  9. 9. Best Practices: Example (Before) A unique partnership in Catonsville New Hope Community Church launched regular services in January at the former St. Timothy's, Catonsville. NHCC has entered into a partnership with the diocese to help start St. Hilda's Episcopal Church there. NHCC's founding pastor, the Rev. Dr. Jason Poling, attended General Seminary for a year and was ordained priest in December. He will serve as vicar of St. Hilda's and coordinate with NHCC in areas of common ministry such as Sunday school, Bible study and outreach. St. Hilda's first service will be Maundy Thursday with Bishop Knudsen presiding. Over the next few weeks there will be informal gatherings of people interested in being a part of St. Hilda's. Those events will be listed in future eNews notices. 9 123 words
  10. 10. Best Practices: Example (During) A Unique Partnership in Catonsville New Hope Community Church, which recently launched regular services in January at the former St. Timothy's, Catonsville. NHCC has entered into a partnership is partnering with the diocese us to help start St. Hilda's Episcopal Church. there. NHCC's founding pastor, the Rev. Dr. Jason Poling, attended General Seminary for a year and was ordained priest in December. He will He’ll serve as vicar of St. Hilda's and coordinate with NHCC in areas of common ministry ministries (e.g.,such as Sunday school, Bible study, and outreach). All are welcome to attend St. Hilda's first service will be on Maundy Thursday at #.## AM? PM? with Bishop Knudsen presiding. Over the next few weeks there will be Look for eNews notices about informal gatherings of people for those interested in being a becoming part of St. Hilda's. Those events will be listed in future eNews notices. 10 99 words
  11. 11. Best Practices: Example (After) Unique Partnership in Catonsville New Hope Community Church, which recently launched regular services at the former St. Timothy's, Catonsville is partnering with us to help start St. Hilda's Episcopal Church. NHCC's founding pastor, Rev. Dr. Jason Poling, attended General Seminary and was ordained priest in December. He’ll serve as vicar of St. Hilda's and coordinate with NHCC in common ministries (e.g., Sunday school, Bible study, outreach). All are welcome to attend St. Hilda's first service on Maundy Thursday at 7PM with Bishop Knudsen presiding. Look for eNews notices about informal gatherings for those interested in becoming part of St. Hilda's. 11 99 words
  12. 12. Best Practices: Example (Even Shorter) Unique Partnership in Catonsville New Hope Community Church, which recently launched regular services at the former St. Timothy's, Catonsville is partnering with us to start St. Hilda's Episcopal Church. NHCC's founding pastor, Rev. Dr. Jason Poling will serve as vicar and coordinate common ministries (e.g., Sunday school, Bible study, outreach). All are welcome to attend St. Hilda's first service on Maundy Thursday at 7PM with Bishop Knudsen presiding. Look for eNews notices about gatherings for those interested in joining St. Hilda's. 12 80 words
  13. 13. 13 Questions? You’re invited to contact me…  Website: www.meredithgould.com  Twitter: @meredithgould  LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/meredithgould

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