June 12, 2013 at 6:26 am (Communications)
Tags: Online newsrooms, Steve Momorella, TEKGROUP
We all know that the Internet makes finding information easier. But are you making it easy for people to find information about the company for which you work, your own business or your book?
Steve Momorella, who is the owner and founder of TEKGROUP, which has been creating online newsrooms for 25 years, recently shared some great tips to make your online newsroom stand out.
Key attributes include appearance, freshness, content, social, SEO and ROI.
The appearance must look professional and have the branding of the corporate site, otherwise, Momorella says, you confuse the viewer.
Freshness, of course, refers to making sure the newsroom is up-to-date. The content on the site must include more than press releases. The site should include background on the company, videos and the company logo.
Social, Momorella says, is the big shift. “Twenty-five years ago our target was journalists. It’s gone much bigger than that.” He refers to the general news consumer, individuals who want to learn more about the company. “A lot of people go to the newsroom for research.”
SEO, or search engine optimization, is important because you want your newsroom to be found when people are searching for information about your company. ROI plays out when you build a newsroom that allows you to distribute videos that stations can use. Doing so saves money in overnight shipping and often lands your company on a news segment, which can lead to an increase in sales.
To check out some online newsrooms that Momorella says incorporate these attributes, visit:
- Toyota’s newsroom because of its graphic design, categorized video search and social media landing page.
- Cisco for its fresh content, storytelling, graphic design, embedded video and searchable archive.
- Starbucks for its video, photo galleries, information and speaker requests and fresh content.
May 29, 2013 at 8:56 pm (Communications)
Memorial Day has come and gone, which means it’s time for summer fun, scaling back and relaxing.
For the next few months, I’ve decided to post only once a week to Cynthia’s Communique. Making such a decision wasn’t easy, but since I’ve been writing about time management and work/life balance, I have concluded it was the right thing for me to do.
I didn’t want to simply end the blog because so many of you have shared that you appreciate the content. And I really enjoy writing it.
For the past four years, I’ve been publishing twice weekly and more frequently during NFPW conferences.
I’m going to use the time to recommit, which means identifying topics, researching them and taking photos to go with the posts.
I also want to listen more. I’d like to hear what you have to say. I want to catch up on other blogs and hear what others think.
(Photo by Cynthia Price)
And I want to kick back and enjoy the summer.
I hope you’ll keep reading and sharing my blog with others. And don’t hesitate to share what topics you’d like me to cover.
Thanks for understanding as I take some time to relax.
Enjoy the summer!
May 22, 2013 at 8:11 pm (Communications)
Tags: Parkour, Ryan Ford
About a year ago I learned about Parkour through an NFPW member whose son is an active participant. When I first watched a video depicting it, I was drawn to how each person moved throughout the space. I recalled movements from my childhood. Yet, these were adults who seemed to be playing.
In actuality, Parkour, according to Wikipedia, is a “holistic training discipline [in which] practitioners aim to move quickly and efficiently through their environment using only their bodies and their surroundings to propel themselves.”
After watching Ryan Ford and his friends, I found myself wanting to skip more and jump from the bottom step (sometimes I even jump a few steps, but not when I’m wearing heals!). Recently, Ford gave a Tedx and encouraged the audience to “take time each day to play.”
You might feel a bit silly skipping down the hall, but maybe you could spin your desk chair once. Or you could balance on a sidewalk curb. Be creative about what you try. Ford encourages, “There are no obstacles, only opportunities.”
The point is about putting movement and play into your day.
As George Bernard Shaw said, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
How will you play today?
May 15, 2013 at 6:28 am (Communications)
Tags: StoryMineMedia, Video storytelling
Video is everywhere.
According to Digiday, 89 million people watch 1.2 billion online videos today. That number will grow to 1.5 billion online video users in 2016.
However, it’s important to remember that 19 percent of viewers abandon an online video after 10 seconds. And 44 percent of viewers abandon an online video after 60 seconds.
If you want to keep viewers watching your videos then you are going to have to engage the audience. “Let the character’s story communicate the organization’s impact and guide the audience to the message,” said Catherine Orr, co-founder of StoryMineMedia.
To create a strong video story, follow this roadmap that StoryMineMedia shared:
- Establish context: What are the broad goals of your organization
- Define pupose: What is the specific purpose of this video? Is it to raise awareness? To create a call to action?
- Look for universal themes: How will you build a bridge between your story and your audience? Universal themes include family, home, health, for example.
- Brainstorm storylines: What are the hypothetical stories that could illustrate your message? Could you show struggle and change? You could also share a best-case scenario.
- Choose characters: Use your networks to create a list of actual people who have been impacted by the work of your organization. Don’t always use a “talking head.”
May 12, 2013 at 7:34 am (Communications)
Tags: Infographics, InterAction Forum 2013, SwitchYardMedia
In today’s visual age, infographics reign.
An infographic is a visual representation of data, processes or locations. And while we like to think of them as new, they’ve been around for a long time – think about early cave drawings.
Using images that are familiar to many make it easier to understand an infographic.
Alicia Parlapiano, graphics editor, for The New York Times, said they are a way to share information and tell stories.
“Our rule of thumb is that the instant you look at an infographic it should be instantly understandable,” added Gary Seidman, president of SwitchYard Media. “It doesn’t really require any learning.”
The two were on an infographics panel at the InterAction Forum 2013 recently held in Arlington, Va.
Infographics, Seidman said, must be organized, succinct and easy to read.
Before beginning the graphic, Parlapiano recommended creating an abstract or summary to guide in the creation of the graphic. This also will help viewers to understand the purpose of the graphic.
When a person engages with an infographic, Seidman said, you need to consider what the person will take away and what you want them to remember.
Once you know the data you want to show, Parlapiano said to use the appropriate form – one that doesn’t make the display of the information too complex. The infographic also should follow the organization’s style guide by using approved fonts and layouts. She recommended creating some approved layouts for infographics so the designer doesn’t always have to begin fresh.
Other tips include:
- Don’t use excessive labeling
- Remove axes if distracting
- Add a headline and some text to describe what the viewer is supposed to be seeing
- Add a source line
- Add a credit
- Use visual shorthands with which people are familiar (examples include thumbs up and wifi symbols)
If you want to know more about infographics, check out The Wall Street Journal Guide to Information Graphics by Dona Wong. The book is all about the fundamentals so it’s a good starting point.