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Tips and techniques Little things that will make your life easier as you implement your communication strategy October 17, 2012 • #KSRE12 K-State Research and Extension Annual Conference
Sync itMake communication tools work together• Blog posts, fact sheets, a news release, or videos can provide in-depth content• Tweets can link to blogs or YouTube videos• News releases can promote fact sheets, videos, or your blog• Blogs can customize content and offer links• Should everything be shared everywhere?
Social media resources• Its not about promoting your own content but sharing good content you find.• Follow K-State resources and share/retweet.• Profile picture• Banner• Shareable content• Eye-catching images• Add links to everything!
Social media best practices1. Be honest. Dont pretend to be someone you arent.2. Listen. Take an active role in the conversation. Find out what information people want.3. Learn. Our audiences are finding ways to use new tools, and we should, too.4. Try new things. Surround yourself with others who want to learn.
Twitter• Retweets• Messages• Text messages• Hashtags• Good tweets and bad tweets
Twitter: Retweet• Simple and quick• Get info to your followers• Recognizes the importance, quality of the tweet’s content
Twitter: Message• A private tweet to a user who is following you• Quicker than email in some cases• Can receive direct messages sent via text message on a smartphone
Twitter: Text messagingTwitter makes text messaging easy1. Create a Twitter account if you dont have one2. Encourage folks to text "follow <your account>" to 404043. Any tweet you send automatically goes to followersNote:• Can also do this with a QR code• Clients can do the same with a Twitter account• Other sites offer functionality, but not free
Twitter: HashtagsUse # symbol to categorize your tweets• #wheat• #Kstate• #Kansas• #nutrition• #FridaysComing• #WhoWouldaThought
Images• Facebook: crucial cover image• Flickr: public vs. private, creative commons• Choose a suitable image Good images: catchy, colorful, meaningful Bad images: dull, dark, uninteresting Make images pop: add text or use infographics
Images: ShareabilityAlways think about shareability: Is thisinteresting enough that other people wouldshare it?Also:• Instagram• Pinterest• Twitter
New to Facebook? Five things to do1. Use a meaningful profile picture (K-State Research and Extension workmark)2. Choose a catchy banner: It’s almost half your page3. Provide information (especially contact info)4. Post some engaging content5. Invite everyone!
Facebook: What works?• Catchy images• Useful information• Questions/polls• Giveaways• Calls to action
Facebook: What doesn’t work• Internal or too-personal updates• Inflammatory comments• Incomplete information• Promoting only yourself
Facebook seriesKeep your Facebook audience interested!• Ask questions• Request feedback• Offer incentives to people who follow daily• Invite them to share (photos, recipes, advice)Good example: Skittles
Blog writing tips• Use keywords• Make images compelling• Make it scannable• Make it engaging• Give readers a call to action
Comments: What to do?• Think of them as comment cards.• Don’t delete negative comments unless they can cause harm, bullying, or are offensive.• Offer research-based information to respond to comments, as appropriate.
Effective emailSubject line: Include a verb, explain how theemail relates to the reader(s), update to avoidre:re:re: strings.Open with the main idea: Be direct.Explain in the body: Maintain high skim value.Use lists, headings, underline (links), or bold.Close with a purpose: Repeat deadlines orrequired actions at the end.
Email tipsRemember: • Email may be forwarded • Use the main point to begin each paragraph • Allow time to revise and proofread • Make it easy for the reader to respond • Email newsletters are easily read if they are the body of the message.
Local websites• Maintain and update your local unit site• Include links to social media• Include social media sharing buttons (ShareThis)• Tie in with other resources, such as K-State Research and Extension material• Photos are great! (Link from Facebook/Flickr)
Radio/audio tips• Be conversational• Economize (shorter words, sentences)• Don’t repeat information• Avoid clichés, humor• Read your script out loud
Video tips• Keep the goal or message in mind• Don’t look directly into the camera• Use a conversational tone• Show people doing something• Shorter is better for online viewing
Handout• Consider the audience and objectives• Use the best delivery method (ebook? PDF? printed handout?)• Good images can illustrate the message• Get help with editing and design to make it more polished
News release• Have two or three key messages• Use the five W’s • Who • What • When • Where • Why• Most important points first
Newsletter• Appearance is important! Consider font use, columns, design• Use professional templates• Tailor content to the medium and audience• Proofread to check facts, dates, grammar, spelling, and punctuation
Know your publicationConsider your goals. Think about:• Target audience• Appropriate medium• How and where the item will be used• Seasonal relevance• Audience awareness of the topic (Does the title include keywords a target reader might use in an online search?)
Enhance your writing• Think of writing as a process with separate drafting, revising, and proofreading steps• Look for paragraph-level improvements and full development of ideas• Look for sentence-level grammar errors and proofreading mistakes• Follow the K-State Research and Extension Style Guide
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