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Key Messages: Connecting With Your Audience

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Do you have trouble deciding what to put in a release? Key messages will help you stress the points you want to make and hone your skills by giving you a way to structure your writing. We also will help you repurpose your news release to get your message out in blogs and Facebook posts.

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Key Messages: Connecting With Your Audience

  1. 1. Key Messages:Connecting With Your Audience Ellen Crawford Rich Mattern Bob Bertsch NDSU Ag Communication
  2. 2. Creating Key Messages What is your goal? What behaviors will lead to the change you want? What do you want people to do?Photo by William Neuheisel,www.flickr.com/photos/wneuheisel/ How do you want them to do it?
  3. 3. Creating Key Messages • Provide a roadmap – what to do and how to do it • Shrink the change – don’t give too many options • Focus less on what you want people to know and more on what you want them to do
  4. 4. How to write a news releaseTalk low, talk slow and don’t say too much. – John Wayne Photo by cromely, http://www.flickr.com/photos/ cromely/
  5. 5. Writing process• Plan: Find an idea, research and organize.• Draft: Get things down on paper.• Clarify: Revise your draft.• Edit: Remove the excess.• Proofread: Get it all correct; ask for help – four eyes are better than two.
  6. 6. Inverted PyramidA useful guide for organizing yournews release• Readers start Really Important Facts at the top. Who What Where When Why• Editors cut Information that helps from the readers bottom. Information that provides context Useful detail and history
  7. 7. From News Release to BlogTurn one news release into multiple blog posts. Blog posts that focus on asingle aspect of a topic or issue help users get directly to the content theyneed. Make good use of keywords, so your web content can be found throughsearch. Make your web content scannable. It is more difficult to read on ascreen than off paper. Because people reader slower from a screen they savetime by scanning. Large, unbroken strings of text are difficult to scan. To makeyour content more scannable, write in small paragraphs, use lists and useheadings and subheadings. Connect the content to a real-time, real lifescenario - Think (and possibly write) about why the reader should care aboutthis post now. Why is the post timely? How can the post impact the readerslife? Be present as the author - In most web content, the author is absent. Inblog posts, you need to be present. Refer to your stories and experiences. Bereal. Share some of yourself. Include a call to action - Focus on what you wantthe reader to do, not just what you want them to learn. Include a picture. Theweb is becoming more visual. Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and other toolsmake use of images to make shared content more engaging.
  8. 8. From News Release to BlogTurn one news release into multiple blog posts.• focus more directly on your key messages• add context and depth to your subject• help users get directly to the content they need
  9. 9. From News Release to BlogMake good use of keywords.• keywords help your content be found through search• keywords help news aggregators find your content and deliver it to users• use keywords consistently in your title, metadata and throughout your content
  10. 10. From News Release to BlogMake your web content scannable.• Because people reader slower from a screen, they save time by scanning.• Large, unbroken strings of text are difficult to scan.• To make your content more scannable, – write in small paragraphs – use lists – use headings and subheadings.
  11. 11. From News Release to BlogConnect the content to a real-time, real lifescenario• Think (and possibly write) about why the reader should care about this post now.• Why is the post timely?• How can the post impact the readers life?
  12. 12. From News Release to BlogBe present as the author• In news releases, the author is absent. In blog posts, you need to be present.• Write in the first-person• Refer to your stories and experiences.• Be real. Share some of yourself.
  13. 13. From News Release to BlogInclude a call to action• Return to your key messages• Focus on what you want the reader to do, not just what you want them to learn.
  14. 14. From News Release to BlogInclude a picture.• The web is becoming more visual.• Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and other tools use images to make shared content more engaging. Photo by doug88888. http://www.flickr.com/photos/doug88888/
  15. 15. Using Key Messages in Social Media• Use key messages to guide sharing• Engage people – find out why they are not doing what you want them to and what could help them change• Don’t nag
  16. 16. Questions?

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