What’s Happening Today
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

Welcome, introductions
Survey results!
Story best practices (The Campaign)
Writing f...
What’s Happening Today
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

Welcome, introductions
Survey results!
Story best practices (The Campaign)
Writing f...
Survey Results
• 97 Surveyed
• 56 Respondents
(nearly 58%)

Job Focus
Communications
Marketing
Public Relations
Stewardshi...
Survey Results
Roles

Managing
Spec./Coord.
Writer
Other
Survey Results
But we all write.
It's the main
function of my
position
It's part of my
job, but not the
sole focus
I do so...
Survey Results
We know our stuff.

…how writing relates to our
overall goals.

...our audience.

Yes

Strongly
agree

No

...
Survey Results
We’re handling the web.

Yes

No

Sometimes
Survey Results
We’re handling the web.
…no matter whence the content cometh.
Given to me
Brand/goals-driven
Other external...
Survey Results
We also manage newsletters and magazines.
Yes

No

Other (contributing, annual
brochure, considering)
Survey Results
…often enough…

Newsletter Frequency

Print frequency

Weekly (52/yr)

Bi-Weekly (26/yr)
Monthly (12/yr)
Bi...
Survey Results
…to a large number of constituents…

<1K
1K to <5K

5K to <10K
10K to <25K
25K to <50K

50K+
Survey Results
We manage or mess with social media.

Yes
A little bit
No
Survey Results
While we don’t feel under resourced…

Strongly agree
Agree
Disagree

Strongly disagree
Survey Results
…only half of us are confident sharing about giving.

Strongly agree
Agree

Disagree
Strongly disagree
Othe...
Survey Results
…about half know how to maximize Michigan News.

Strongly agree
Agree

Disagree
Strongly disagree
Other
Survey Results
What do we want to get out of this…
What’s Happening Today
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

Welcome, introductions
Survey results!
Story best practices (The Campaign)
Writing f...
Dynamite Content
1.) Goals + Content = Strategy
•
Campaign case statements
Best practices: Law School, Leaders & Best
2.) ...
What’s Happening Today
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

Welcome, introductions
Survey results!
Story best practices (The Campaign)
Writing f...
A Few General Web Tips
• Remember that readers will jump around
constantly—and write for that.
• More and more readers now...
Imagine how the 5/15 rule could improve this site ….
Help Readers Understand
the Purpose of Your Webpage
• Be clear: don’t force web users to think.
• Be succinct: write 50% (...
Example of writing for ease of scanning:
Example of using chunks and testimonials:
Make Your Headlines Count
•
•
•
•

Clear trumps clever.
Pique curiosity.
Include action, if you can.
Remember to use keywo...
LSA Today headline examples from May & June:
Compare those with Buzzfeed.com:
Or Aol.com:
Or even Harvard:
Writing for SEO
(Search Engine Optimization)
Determined by keywords, links, page title, meta tags.
And yet ..
“Modern SEO ...
Avoid these Common Pitfalls
•
•
•
•

Not getting to the point.
Not writing with scanning in mind.
Using acronyms and ―insi...
What’s Happening Today
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

Welcome, introductions
Survey results!
Story best practices (The Campaign)
Writing f...
Group Exercise
Campaign Case Study
• The Department of Slavic Languages and and
Literatures received a $250,000 endowment ...
What’s Happening Today
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

Welcome, introductions
Survey results!
Story best practices (The Campaign)
Writing f...
What’s Happening Today
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

Welcome, introductions
Survey results!
Story best practices (The Campaign)
Writing f...
One Story, Many Outlets
• Share the story with fundraisers and development colleagues
• Carve the story into market segmen...
LSA – Victors of discovery , Victors
of human thought and
exploration, Victors of social
understanding, Victors of
inventi...
Writing for Capital Campaigns
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Writing for Capital Campaigns

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This presentation was delivered to the University of Michigan Writers Subgroup of the Communicators Forum. Presenters from the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts Included Matthew J. Adams (Social Media Manager), Lara Zeilin (Editorial Director), and Rebecca Murray (Communications Specialist).

Topics include: Survey results about U-M communications issues | Writing strategically for capital campaigns | Introduction to writing for the web | Managing the many outlets of story sharing

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Writing for Capital Campaigns

  1. 1. What’s Happening Today • • • • • • • Welcome, introductions Survey results! Story best practices (The Campaign) Writing for the web Group exercise Idea roll-up One story, many forms(+ wrap up)
  2. 2. What’s Happening Today • • • • • • • Welcome, introductions Survey results! Story best practices (The Campaign) Writing for the web Group exercise Idea roll-up One story, many forms(+ wrap up)
  3. 3. Survey Results • 97 Surveyed • 56 Respondents (nearly 58%) Job Focus Communications Marketing Public Relations Stewardship Web Other
  4. 4. Survey Results Roles Managing Spec./Coord. Writer Other
  5. 5. Survey Results But we all write. It's the main function of my position It's part of my job, but not the sole focus I do some writing from time to time when it's required of me
  6. 6. Survey Results We know our stuff. …how writing relates to our overall goals. ...our audience. Yes Strongly agree No Agree Sort of, maybe
  7. 7. Survey Results We’re handling the web. Yes No Sometimes
  8. 8. Survey Results We’re handling the web. …no matter whence the content cometh. Given to me Brand/goals-driven Other external content Pitched --> group-vetted Experience/"sense" Analytics/user survey
  9. 9. Survey Results We also manage newsletters and magazines. Yes No Other (contributing, annual brochure, considering)
  10. 10. Survey Results …often enough… Newsletter Frequency Print frequency Weekly (52/yr) Bi-Weekly (26/yr) Monthly (12/yr) Bi-Monthly (6/yr) Quarterly (4/yr) Thrice (3/yr) Semi-Annually (2/yr) Annually (1/yr) Quarterly (4/yr) Semi-Annually (2/yr) Annually (1/yr)
  11. 11. Survey Results …to a large number of constituents… <1K 1K to <5K 5K to <10K 10K to <25K 25K to <50K 50K+
  12. 12. Survey Results We manage or mess with social media. Yes A little bit No
  13. 13. Survey Results While we don’t feel under resourced… Strongly agree Agree Disagree Strongly disagree
  14. 14. Survey Results …only half of us are confident sharing about giving. Strongly agree Agree Disagree Strongly disagree Other
  15. 15. Survey Results …about half know how to maximize Michigan News. Strongly agree Agree Disagree Strongly disagree Other
  16. 16. Survey Results What do we want to get out of this…
  17. 17. What’s Happening Today • • • • • • • Welcome, introductions Survey results! Story best practices (The Campaign) Writing for the web Group exercise Idea roll-up One story, many forms (+ wrap up)
  18. 18. Dynamite Content 1.) Goals + Content = Strategy • Campaign case statements Best practices: Law School, Leaders & Best 2.) Lead with the dynamite • Impact! • Backstory • Editorial guidelines 3.) Connect to broader news stories if possible
  19. 19. What’s Happening Today • • • • • • • Welcome, introductions Survey results! Story best practices (The Campaign) Writing for the web Group exercise Idea roll-up One story, many forms (+ wrap up)
  20. 20. A Few General Web Tips • Remember that readers will jump around constantly—and write for that. • More and more readers now search for the information they want vs. finding it through a site’s navigation—so use keywords in your text! • Follow the 5/15 Rule: Within five seconds a user should understand the purpose of your web page. Within 15 seconds, a user should be comfortable navigating your page.
  21. 21. Imagine how the 5/15 rule could improve this site ….
  22. 22. Help Readers Understand the Purpose of Your Webpage • Be clear: don’t force web users to think. • Be succinct: write 50% (or less) of the text you would have used in a print publication. • Make text brief and easy to scan with chunks and subheads. • Focus on benefits and not just features of a program, event, renovation, etc. • Use testimonials.
  23. 23. Example of writing for ease of scanning:
  24. 24. Example of using chunks and testimonials:
  25. 25. Make Your Headlines Count • • • • Clear trumps clever. Pique curiosity. Include action, if you can. Remember to use keywords for SEO value. (More on SEO in a minute.)
  26. 26. LSA Today headline examples from May & June:
  27. 27. Compare those with Buzzfeed.com:
  28. 28. Or Aol.com:
  29. 29. Or even Harvard:
  30. 30. Writing for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Determined by keywords, links, page title, meta tags. And yet .. “Modern SEO is all about crafting content so compelling that other people want to promote it by linking to it or sharing it, which increases your trust and authority and helps the pages you want to rank well for certain keywords.” —copyblogger.com
  31. 31. Avoid these Common Pitfalls • • • • Not getting to the point. Not writing with scanning in mind. Using acronyms and ―insider‖ language. Not utilizing links and SEO. “Remember, even the best writing doesn’t matter if no one can find it.” —Mediabistro.com
  32. 32. What’s Happening Today • • • • • • • Welcome, introductions Survey results! Story best practices (The Campaign) Writing for the web Group exercise Idea roll-up One story, many forms (+ wrap up)
  33. 33. Group Exercise Campaign Case Study • The Department of Slavic Languages and and Literatures received a $250,000 endowment gift • The gift was given by an Michigan couple who want to provide students with the opportunity to study abroad, specifically in Poland. • The gift will generate six scholarships each year with an amount totaling $7,000 per student, with the remainder in an expendable account. The department director will report on the gift annually at fiscal year-end. • The department has names of students who have studied in Poland. The couple met while studying abroad 30 years ago. With Your Group: • Brainstorm a lead, or at least what you think you’d write about in the first paragraph • Brainstorm a title • Brainstorm a teaser (no more than 30 words)
  34. 34. What’s Happening Today • • • • • • • Welcome, introductions Survey results! Story best practices (The Campaign) Writing for the web Group exercise Idea roll-up One story, many forms (+ wrap up)
  35. 35. What’s Happening Today • • • • • • • Welcome, introductions Survey results! Story best practices (The Campaign) Writing for the web Group exercise Idea roll-up One story, many forms (+ wrap up)
  36. 36. One Story, Many Outlets • Share the story with fundraisers and development colleagues • Carve the story into market segments: long for print, short for web, even shorter for Facebook, and 140 characters for Twitter • Share the content with Michigan News for breaking stories • Share the content with your unit communications team for placement in alumni magazines, e-newsletters, etc. • Share your content, and ask to borrow content in return
  37. 37. LSA – Victors of discovery , Victors of human thought and exploration, Victors of social understanding, Victors of invention, Victors of problems and solutions, Thank you! See you in 2014! Laura Lessnau Michigan News Victors of knowledge

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