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Public Relations & Social Media Insight
PR insight, social media & thought leadership - from The PR Coach www.theprcoach.com
Curated by Jeff Domansky
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5 Questions to Ask When Writing Content | Jeffbullas's Blog

5 Questions to Ask When Writing Content | Jeffbullas's Blog | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it
The web was dominated for a decade by two key elements. Search engines and content. Then social media turned up. Content creation on a smarter and social web requires intelligent and creative thinking.

 

..Google will always have good user experience as their primary goal, and each update they make will be in the direction of better understanding of the content from a human perspective. If you guide your copywriting to provide what your readers look for, not only that you’ll get more loyal audience that loves to come to your website and read what’s new, but Google will also award your actions with a higher ranking in their search result pages.

So how should you write?

Here’s what you should ask yourself before you publish your writing on the Internet...

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Valuable advice for and that gets great SEO.

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Leaping the biggest hurdle to creative communication | Crescenzo Communications

Leaping the biggest hurdle to creative communication | Crescenzo Communications | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

The obstacles to being creative inside an organization are many, varied and tough to overcome … but it all starts with taming the approval process.


Writing for organizations is hard. Being creative inside organizations isn’t easy.

Sometimes, it seems as if everything is set up to prevent us from creating the kind of content that people will actually read and pay attention to.

 

A recent informal survey of communicators at one of my writing seminars revealed six common barriers that people face as they labor to create better content. In no particular order, here they are:...

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Steve Crescenzo sees red when it comes to creative communications inside organizations.

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New service cuts the PR cr*p | Behind the Spin

New service cuts the PR cr*p | Behind the Spin | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

A new web-based service identifies and strips out annoying buzzwords from press releases at the click of a button.

 

The Buzzsaw service from Twelve Thirty Eight is available at: http://www.1238kmh.com/buzzsaw.htm

 

Twelve Thirty Eight’s recent Buzzword Report highlighted the PR buzzwords, terminology and practices most likely to inflame journalists.   There are more than 500 in the database already, including terms like repurposing, solution, robust, best of breed, mission-critical, scalable, next-generation, web-enabled, leading, value-added, leverage, seamless, etc....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Works well for blogging too!

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13 Reasons the Future Belongs to the Writer

13 Reasons the Future Belongs to the Writer | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

Headlines create reality, people just live in it. The world can't get enough cheese. Stories sell a lot of wine. Traditional advertising is over....

 

And on, and on, and on, and on … the written word powers it all. None of it truly works without you.

 

Go write your own ticket.

Jeff Domansky's insight:

You knew this, right?

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How To Captivate Anyone With Your Blog Posts | Blogging Tips

How To Captivate Anyone With Your Blog Posts | Blogging Tips | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

Writing a good blog post isn’t just about great content…

 

Writing truly engaging and exciting blog posts and marketing is an art for that involves storytelling, emotion, and creating an immersive experience for your readers.

 

How you structure your marketing techniques in terms of storytelling, and connecting with readers, can often leave more of an impact than the content itself (think about how a song or story touched you more because of the emotional impact than the details of the story itself).

 

In this post I want to share 3 tips you can use to enhance the appeal of any post you write, and make it incredibly engaging to your readers....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Great storytelling and blogging tips...

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Major papers’ longform meltdown

Major papers’ longform meltdown | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

...So, all in all, it’s more than instructive to check in on longform newspaper writing, and the start of a new year isn’t a bad time to do it.

 

And it’s pretty to shocking to see what’s become of the time-honored form since the newspaper industry’s great unraveling started a decade ago.

 

The Los Angeles Times, for instance, published 256 stories longer than 2,000 words last year, compared to 1,776 in 2003—a drop of 86 percent, according to searches of the Factiva database. The Washington Post published 1,378 stories over 2,000 words last year, about half as many as 2003 when it published 2,755. The Wall Street Journal, which pioneered the longform narrative in American newspapers, published 35 percent fewer stories over 2,000 words last year from a decade ago, 468 from 721.

 

When it comes to stories longer than 3,000 words, the three papers showed even sharper declines. The WSJ’s total is down 70 percent to 25 stories, from 87 a decade ago, and the LA Times down fully 90 percent to 34 from 368....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

This is a really interesting analysis of newspaper content and trends. Despite some push back in a few newspapers and magazines and several new online journals, the trend is clear.

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Inside a serial narrative: A story is ‘a promise that the end is worth waiting for’ | Poynter

Benham and her husband, journalist Tom French, were faced with a pivotal question: Fight for their daughter’s life or let her go? In a recent three-part series in Poynter’s Tampa Bay Times, Benham wrote about how she and French confronted this question and how the answer they sought has changed their lives.

 

“A story is a promise,” French said to her as they read to Juniper. “It’s a promise that the end is worth waiting for.”


Via Gregg Morris
Jeff Domansky's insight:

This was powerful, personal storytelling which I guess are the other components of great stories.

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The most annoying and hated word/phrases of the year | Ragan.com

The most annoying and hated word/phrases of the year | Ragan.com | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it
'Fiscal cliff' and 'whatever' top the lists. Don't roll your eyes. I'm just sayin' that these words are, like, so yesterday. Or maybe not. YOLO.

 

Political observers may have been ambivalent about Tuesday night's House of Representatives vote to halt mandatory tax increases for all but the United States' highest earners, extend unemployment benefits, and fend off other potentially damaging, self-imposed economic consequences.

 

Language lovers, however, had to be delighted, because it meant they were one step closer to never again hearing the phrase "fiscal cliff." That term topped Lake Superior State University's annual list of banished words....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Let's banish these banal buzzwords forever...

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Chunking Information for Instructional Design: The eLearning Coach

Chunking Information for Instructional Design: The eLearning Coach | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it
Chunking refers to the strategy of breaking down information into bite-sized pieces so the brain can more easily digest new information.

 

[Great strategy for elearning, blogging, training ~ Jeff]


Via Mayra Aixa Villar
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Penn Jillette Reveals the Secrets of Fire-Eating | Smithsonian

Penn Jillette Reveals the Secrets of Fire-Eating | Smithsonian | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it
The more talkative half of the famed magic duo says that even for professionals, this magic act is a tough act to swallow...

 

I didn’t learn fire-eating to conquer my fears. I learned fire-eating because I desperately wanted to be in show business. You don’t want to learn fire-eating from a book, but that’s how I started. I read Step Right Up! by Dan Mannix—the 1950 memoir of a real-life carny—and I wanted to be “with it.” Dan didn’t explain how to eat fire, but I felt I could read between the lines and figure it out. I was 19 years old, and like many men that age, I felt invincible. I wasn’t, and you aren’t. Remember that. Do not eat fire!

 

I practiced all afternoon and burned the snot out of my mouth and lips. My mouth looked like wall-to-wall herpes sores, with cartoonish, giant teeth glued to my lips. There were so many blisters I couldn’t press my lips together. I sure couldn’t have whistled. I thought I had to ignore the pain and I did. I’ve always been good at focus. My girlfriend arrived home and screamed in horror (19-year-old men often make 19-year-old women do that). We didn’t kiss for a week . . . and we were 19.

 

Don’t learn fire-eating from a magazine, but here’s how it works. Just, don’t do it!r...

 

[What can I say? Genius storytelling, writing ~ Jeff]

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How to Trash a Brand with Storytelling | Lou Hoffman

How to Trash a Brand with Storytelling | Lou Hoffman | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

I am a big fan of The New York Times Dining section.

 

Donut drama.

 

Importing Mom instead of the pasta.

 

Hunting for “treasures” in restaurant laundry.

 

And the list goes on.

 

The NYT Dining journalists know how to shape story lines beyond the – “chef showed restraint, allowing the flavor of the fresh [fill in the blank] to take center stage” – and do it with clever wordsmithing.

Peter Wells’ review of a Guy Fieri restaurant last week is right up there with the best.

 

The fact that the piece triggered more than 1,000 comments (not a typo) shows I’m not the only person who noticed....

 

[Great writing, technique and de3vastating review and PR crisis for NY restaurant ~ Jeff]

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Tips for Writing Blog Titles that Earn ReTweets | Social Media Today

Tips for Writing Blog Titles that Earn ReTweets | Social Media Today | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it
Drafting Irresistible Blog Titles blog titles The latest data is in, and it turns out your titles matter more than you might think. In fact, they might matter more than your content body.

 

HubSpot's social media scientist Dan Zarrella analyzed over 2.7 million blog titles recently and found there's no correlation between clicks and retweets. In fact, over 16% of the links he examined had more retweets than clicks!

 

It's clear that people don't always read what they tweet, which means that your title has real influence on your SEO from social shares. Now ask yourself, would you retweet something titled "Why You Should Do Inbound Marketing." I didn't think so. It's just not specific, actionable or emphatic enough.

 

We've outlined 7 tips to take your blog titles from okay to fantastic....

 

[Jasmine Henry provides seven excellent tips for top notch blog headlines ~ Jeff]

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How to Create An 800 Words Article In 25 Minutes [Without Sacrificing the Quality]?

How to Create An 800 Words Article In 25 Minutes [Without Sacrificing the Quality]? | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

...Here’s how the process goes to write an 800 words article in 25 minutes:

1  Write headlines first
2  Write at least 3 subheads for each headline
3  Apply India-Pakistan method (????!!!!)
4  Fill the subheads
5  Introduction & end of the article next
6  Repeat the process...

 

[Some smart suggestions and writing system and tips for writers, bloggers, authors. ~ Jeff]


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Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now | Douglas Rushkoff

Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now | Douglas Rushkoff | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

In his new book, PRESENT SHOCK: When Everything Happens Now (Current; March 15, 2013), Rushkoff introduces the phenomenon of presentism, or – since most of us are finding it hard to adapt – present shock. Alvin Toffler’s radical 1970 book, Future Shock, theorized that things were changing so fast we would soon lose the ability to cope. Rushkoff argues that the future is now and we’re contending with a fundamentally new challenge. Whereas Toffler said we were disoriented by a future that was careening toward us, Rushkoff argues that we no longer have a sense of a future, of goals, of direction at all. We have a completely new relationship to time; we live in an always-on “now,” where the priorities of this moment seem to be everything....

 

Rushkoff identifies the five main ways we’re struggling, as well as how the best of us are thriving in the now...

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Absolutely a recommended read: Presentism? Provocative preview of social media theorist Douglas Rushkoff's new book "Present Shock." 

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The 3 Different Types of Readers on Your Business Blog | remarkablogger

The 3 Different Types of Readers on Your Business Blog | remarkablogger | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

If you don’t know who you’re talking to, then how do you know what to say?

 

Even though you already know who your target market is (oh, God, I certainly hope you do), did you know you are still writing for three distinct audiences? What I’d like to do today is explain these three audiences to you and give you tips for how to write for each one. That way, your blog posts will reach the right people and have a greater impact on them (and on your bottom line)....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Here's a good reminder about writing to your audience.

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Actionable Marketing Expert | Heidi Cohen

Actionable Marketing Expert | Heidi Cohen | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

Despite the image of a lone person typing by the light of their computer, bloggers have a lot in common with a Super Bowl Championship football team.

Just as football players work hard and prepare through on-going practice and games, bloggers need to continually publish and engage with their audience.

Here are seven lessons bloggers can learn from football to take their game to the championship level....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Actionable tips to help you blog like a Super Bowl champion.

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Writing Blog Posts – Are You a Planner or a Pantser? | Remarkablogger

Writing Blog Posts – Are You a Planner or a Pantser? | Remarkablogger | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

There are two kind of writers: planners and pantsers.

 

Planners (or, sometimes, plotters, if you’re talking about fiction) already know everything they’re going to say, at least to some extent. They know in advance what their topics are going to be. They’ve already written at least a few test headlines. They may have even jotted down some notes or subheads for the post. They already know what keywords they’re gunning for and they already know what sort of call to action they want at the end. They do this because generally a good blog post contains these elements.

 

Pantser is shorthand for the phrase flying by the seat of your pants, which (for my ESL friends) is an English idiom for improvisation. So if you fly by the seat of your pants, then you’re a pantser, see?

 

Neither way of writing is better than the other when the end result is good. However, if the end result is not as good as it should be (no, you’re not a special exception, I’m talking about you), however, pantsing is more likely to blame than planning, in my opinion....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Michael Martine says don't be a "pantser" or your writing and blogging will suffer. Find out more why being a pantser leads to bad blogging.

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Inside a serial narrative: A story is ‘a promise that the end is worth waiting for’ | Poynter

Inside a serial narrative: A story is ‘a promise that the end is worth waiting for’ | Poynter | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

In April 2011, Kelley Benham gave birth four months early. Her daughter Juniper’s birth was supposed to be a joyous occasion. Instead, it was marked by physical and emotional pain, shock, and uncertainty about whether the micro preemie, who weighed just 1 pound 4 ounces, would survive.

 

Benham and her husband, journalist Tom French, were faced with a pivotal question: Fight for their daughter’s life or let her go? In a recent three-part series in Poynter’s Tampa Bay Times, Benham wrote about how she and French confronted this question and how the answer they sought has changed their lives.

 

“A story is a promise,” French said to her as they read to Juniper. “It’s a promise that the end is worth waiting for.”...

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Inside look and a powerful and deeply personal series of stories by journalist Kelly Benham.

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The 10 Immutable Laws of Storytelling

1. Stories are about people. Even if your organization (a) is devoted to saving flora and/or fauna, (b) toils in the dense thicket of policy change, or (c) helps other organizations work more effectively, human beings are still driving the action. So your protagonist has to be a person. And since this person also serves as the audience’s guide through the story, it’s essential to provide some physical description when he or she is introduced. This helps your audience form a mental picture—after all, it’s hard to follow what you can’t see. And don’t forget to include your characters’ names. Audiences will relate more readily to “Marcus” than “the at-risk youth,” even if you have to use a pseudonym to protect your subject’s identity.....


Via Gregg Morris
Jeff Domansky's insight:

10 storytelling tips that are well worth reading. From the Visual Story Network.

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Patrizia Bertini's curator insight, January 20, 2013 5:37 AM

Stories are about People.  Stories don’t tell: they show

Jeni Mawter's curator insight, January 21, 2013 6:36 PM

Stories are about the human condition. We love them because we care about the human condition. Simple.

Two Pens's curator insight, January 24, 2013 8:50 AM

Especially in business (not just entertainment), stories have to elucidate what people want. It's not usually about money or sales, it's more typically about a problem that needs to be solved: creating a presentation quickly, operating a logging truck that's not going to fall apart, ridding oneself of IT hassle. If you can figure out what people want in your product or service, you can tell a stry that makes them act.

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How to Use a Google Docs Content Template | Liz Strauss

How to Use a Google Docs Content Template | Liz Strauss | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

Sorry, Word. We had a good run.

 

We created hundreds of beautiful documents together over the years, but it’s time to move on. I’ve moved up, into the “cloud.” I’ve moved all of my content creation to Google Docs.

 

Why? There are some obvious reasons:

No crashes. No “Oops, forgot to save!” Google has never lost a single word I’ve typed.No version control issues. Everything is easy to share. No more email attachments or wondering if I’m looking at the latest version.Word was always high-maintenance. It’s kind of a resource hog and slowed down my computer. But Google Docs? I’ve got a browser open anyway. Why not use it?

So, let’s use Docs. Here’s how to use a Google Docs content marketing template....

Jeff Domansky's insight:

It may just be time to ditch MSWord for the features and benefits of Google docs. It's working for me too...

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The Daily Routines of Famous Writers

The Daily Routines of Famous Writers | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

"A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper."

Kurt Vonnegut’s recently published daily routine made we wonder how other beloved writers organized their days. So I pored through various old diaries and interviews — many from the fantastic Paris Review archives — and culled a handful of writing routines from some of my favorite authors. Enjoy....

 

(photo of Joan Didion)

Jeff Domansky's insight:

Inspiration from writers who inspire us with their craft including Bradbury, Didion, Hemingway, Miller, Kerouac, Franklin, Angelou and more. Many thanks to Maria Popova for sharing.           

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Blogging Success: How to Create Content People Love | Social Media Examiner

Blogging Success: How to Create Content People Love | Social Media Examiner | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it
Social Media Marketing Podcast 17: In this episode Michael Hyatt shares how to create content that people will love.

 

...In this episode, I interview Michael Hyatt, author of Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World, former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, and the host of the This Is Your Life podcast.

 

Michael shares his experiences as a successful blogger and content creator.

 

You’ll learn why headlines and photos are the most attention-grabbing aspects of your articles....

 

[Great tips for blogging success ~ Jeff]

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One Helluva Seductive One-Word Headline | Copybot

One Helluva Seductive One-Word Headline | Copybot | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it
Work in the copywriting field long enough and you get a knack for picking up on what works. Take the headline, for example.

 

EDITOR'S NOTE: I'm republishing this post to bring attention to the success of Barack Obama's most successful subject line during the 2012 election campaign. That subject line was "Hey." We might be tempted to imitate that success. The bottom half of this post explains why that won't work for you. And Brian Clark expands.

 

Work in the copywriting field long enough and you get a knack for picking up on what works. Actually measure what you write and you get to be dead on.

 

Take the headline, for example....

 

[Can you guess the most seductive one-word headline ever? ~ Jeff]

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How to Write an Interesting Blog | Pushing Social

How to Write an Interesting Blog | Pushing Social | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

For a good chunk of my career I suffered from a mental disease that targets corporate marketers. It’s called Dull-itis.  It isn’t lethal but it does repel readers and success....

 

Cognitive researchers already know that the human brain is particularly adept at two tasks: Ignoring what hasn’t changed, and noticing what has.

 

If you write about what everyone is talking about you will be ignored. In fact, our minds have evolved to ignore you.

 

Write about what’s new. What’s changed and you will catch people’s attention....

 

[Valuable thinking on being counterintuitive, a maverick and a blogging success. ~ Jeff]

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A Higher View of Content: Five Common Words to Avoid | Business 2 Community

A Higher View of Content: Five Common Words to Avoid | Business 2 Community | Public Relations & Social Media Insight | Scoop.it

It’s safe to say most people don’t spend a great deal of time planning their next sentence, unless you’re a super nerd like me and have a serious obsession with lexis and language. (True story: My friend and I are currently teaching ourselves to speak Middle English – for no other reason than for sheer delight.)


Think of Words as a Choice

We have tens of thousands of words to choose from, so why would we overuse any of them? I’ve had the pleasure of working with all types of writers – the young, the veteran, the newly published, the inexperienced, and the journalist. I’ve spent time as a writing coach, an English teacher, and an editor. Naturally, I began to notice patterns in writers’ errors and stylistic blunders.


I’ve compiled an ever-growing list of ineffective words that should be avoided like a camera on a bad hair day. Today, I’ll reveal the most common five. Keep in mind, I’m not advocating for the death of the following words. Every word has its place, but the following five are vague, redundant, and overused....

 

[Great reminder for writers, bloggers, marketers ~ Jeff]

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