Writing for blogs

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  • 1. Writing for blogsBlogging for human rightsimpact
  • 2. Why blog?Expected & understood formatUp-to-dateMatches our contentEasy to usePersonal & FlexibleProvides a space for supporters tofeedbackCan be more personalAnother way to reach and educate ouraudiences
  • 3. Some inspiration
  • 4. Some inspiration
  • 5. Quiz timeBlog, press release or news article?
  • 6. 100 Major Charities Launch Joint Campaign To TackleHunger TrapHunger and malnutrition in childhood will trap almost a billion young people inpoverty by 2025, according to a major new campaign, launched today by Britain’sleading development charities and faith groups. ‘Enough Food for Everyone IF’ isthe largest coalition of its kind in the UK since Make Poverty History in 2005.What if… a little goes a long wayIn spite of the cold January evening, hundreds people came to Somerset House lastnight to help launch the Enough Food for Everyone IF campaign. I was there.I’m familiar with the campaign, and this wasn’t the first event of this kind I’d been to.Yet last night, I felt more excited about what we could achieve by working with othercharities, and because of people who might get involved in a campaign like this forthe first time.Anti-hunger campaign If launches with call for G8 to actA coalition of 100 UK development charities and faith groups will on Wednesdaylaunch a major campaign to lobby David Cameron, the prime minister, to useBritains presidency of the G8 to leverage action on ending global hunger.
  • 7. Blogging – make it current
  • 8. Blogging – tell a story
  • 9. Blogging – it’s OK to have a little fun!
  • 10. Blogging is now a key part of ourcampaigns
  • 11. Writing: the basics• Short – about 500 words• Concise, active language• Personal – blogging should show a personality• A jargon-free zone• Break up text – consider subheadings or bulletsand use short paragraphs• Clear title• Don’t be coy about calls to action• Images and videos are great!
  • 12. Writing: make it easy to read• DON’T WRITE TITLES OR SECTIONS IN ALL-CAPS• Copy newspapers in their approach– A clear, simple title– Get your key points across in the top paragraphs– Go into more detail further down• Don’t use internal jargon (Amnesty not AI)• Speak to your reader directly (hundreds of youwrote… not Amnesty members wrote…)• Put yourself in the readers’ shoes – what inspires youto read about subjects you’re not an expert in?
  • 13. Writing: links in your blog• Link to other sources often– Other blogs on the subject – written by you, us or others.– News items– Background on the AIUK or IS website– Actions• Link the important phrases:– Join our call for clemency notwe’re calling for clemency, click here to take action.• Avoid linking general phrases– Click here– Read this– Find out more
  • 14. Blog titles• Keep titles clear, concise and interesting• Make it findable – use words in your title that peoplemight use in Google to search:– 20,674 reasons to bring Shaker Aamer home fromGuantanamo– The secret world of Uganda’s LGBT activists– California remains on death row• Be careful with punsSearch engines won’t understand them, and readers scanthings very quickly – they might not get it.
  • 15. Check your working!• Stay credible – check your grammar and spelling– No Americanizations– It’s easy to lose flow as you edit your post, read it back andcheck– Get someone else to proof-read, it’s very hard to spot yourown mistakes• Aim to use 50% of your time to write 90% of the post,and 50% to polish it• Check again – is it engaging?
  • 16. Amnesty InternationalTry it yourselvesCan you write a short, interesting blog about…?In your groups:- Plan out your blog – what will you cover?- Write an opening paragraph- Identify the jargon you’d need to explain- Think of a title
  • 17. Blogging inspirations:Zeke Johnson, AI USAhttp://blog.amnestyusa.org/author/zeke-johnson/C4 Factcheck bloghttp://blogs.channel4.com/factcheck1 Crown Office Row HR bloghttp://ukhumanrightsblog.com/Next steps
  • 18. Create an account on My AmnestyStart using your new skills!Any questions?Next steps