Writing for digital media


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Writing for digital media, hints and tips with useful examples

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Writing for digital media

  1. 1. WRITING FOR DIGITAL MEDIAWriting for digital media is not like writing for traditional presses. There is no longer time to createa great introduction paragraph and add more detail, it is necessary to grab the reader’s attentionin 3 seconds, which means the headline must engage the reader instantly.IT IS PERSONALSocial media is personal, it is a conversation between you and your fans / connections / viewers andanyone else that may be listening.Most updates / tweets / posts are written in the first person (singular or plural). The third persondoes not work in digital media.It is acceptable to say “we are having a promotion this afternoon” if representing a company. It is notgreat to issue posts / tweets etc like “The ABC Company is having a promotion this afternoon”.Better still would be “I’m getting ready for a promotion at the ABC Company this afternoon”.SHORT AND SWEETLinkedIn and Twitter allow 140 characters (including spaces and punctuation) which includes yourTwitter identity when someone is repeating (re-tweeting) what you have said.This means writing short statements to tempt the reader to click on a link for more has become thenorm.Facebook conventions dictate short and sweet although there are no limits on post sizes. Theaverage person posts a sentence or two at most. WRITING FOR DIGITAL MEDIA © Annmarie Hanlon 2010 1
  2. 2. SHORTEN LINKSWhen adding a link to a media release it can take up far too many characters. There are variouswebsites which will reduce the size of a link, free of charge, so thathttp://www.evonomie.net/content.php/info_id/497 which is 88 characters becomes:http://bit.ly/aAPxsj - using bit.lyhttp://tiny.cc/jql1x - using tiny.cc – used by The Timeshttp://alturl.com/qhabk - using short URLFACTS, FIGURES AND QUESTIONSProviding statistics, numbers, fascinating facts and questions generates better responses than directstatements. People are reading the posts / tweets / updates at their desk and a question like “haveyou visited the world’s best airport lounges” is more appealing than “new study on airport facilities”.PUNCTUATION AND SPELLINGPunctuation has changed too. In social media it is not uncommon to see • No punctuation at all – to reduce the number of characters • Use of smiley faces :) to indicate positive messages • Abbreviations that may be more common in text messagesFor clients using social media spelling is important, if part of the brand image, but once the tweet orupdate is posted, it is difficult to retract.If you issue something with an error, re-issue with the correct spelling. Better still, make anothermore useful statement. WRITING FOR DIGITAL MEDIA © Annmarie Hanlon 2010 2
  3. 3. REPURPOSE YOUR CONTENTWhenever you create a press release, write an article, say something, make sure it’s on LinkedIn(share with Twitter), on your blog, website news area and Facebook. Use the information, use itagain and once more for good measure. For example a news item about a new partner at a law firmcould have several different headings: • Jane Smith joins Birmingham LLP • Birmingham LLP announce promotions • Have you read about the local woman being promoted?RESOURCEShttp://bit.lyhttp://www.tiny.cchttp://www.shorturl.com WRITING FOR DIGITAL MEDIA © Annmarie Hanlon 2010 3
  4. 4. FOLLOW ME TO STAY AHEAD!Annmarie Hanlon, Managing Director, Evonomie Ltdhttp://uk.linkedin.com/in/annmariehanlonhttp://twitter.com/annmariehanlonhttp://www.facebook.com/EvonomieBooks & Apps • Quick Win Marketing Book & App • Quick Win Digital Marketing Book & AppBooks available from Amazon but are much cheaper from the publisher, Oak Tree Press, with quickdelivery from Ireland (as good / better than Amazon)http://www.oaktreepress.eu/index.php?page=shop.browse&category_id=10&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=2 WRITING FOR DIGITAL MEDIA © Annmarie Hanlon 2010 4