writing for capital campaigns

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Whats Happening Today

Welcome, introductionsSurvey results!Story best practices (The Campaign)Writing for the web Group exercise Idea roll-up One story, many forms(+ wrap up)

Whats Happening Today

Welcome, introductionsSurvey results!Story best practices (The Campaign)Writing for the web Group exercise Idea roll-up One story, many forms(+ wrap up)

Survey Results

97 Surveyed56 Respondents(nearly 58%)

Survey ResultsRoles

Survey ResultsBut we all write.

Survey ResultsWe know our stuff.

Survey ResultsWere handling the web.

Survey ResultsWere handling the web.

Survey ResultsWe also manage newsletters and magazines.

Survey Resultsoften enough

Survey Resultsto a large number of constituents

Survey ResultsWe manage or mess with social media.

Survey ResultsWhile we dont feel under resourced

Survey Resultsonly half of us are confident sharing about giving.

Survey Resultsabout half know how to maximize Michigan News.

Survey ResultsWhat do we want to get out of this

Whats Happening Today

Welcome, introductionsSurvey results!Story best practices (The Campaign)Writing for the web Group exercise Idea roll-up One story, many forms (+ wrap up)

Dynamite Content

1.) Goals + Content = StrategyCampaign case statementsBest practices: Law School, Leaders & Best

2.) Lead with the dynamiteImpact!BackstoryEditorial guidelines

3.) Connect to broader news stories if possible

Whats Happening Today

Welcome, introductionsSurvey results!Story best practices (The Campaign)Writing for the web Group exercise Idea roll-up One story, many forms (+ wrap up)

A Few General Web Tips

Remember that readers will jump around constantlyand write for that.More and more readers now search for the information they want vs. finding it through a sites navigationso use keywords in your text!Follow the 5/15 Rule: Within five seconds a user should understand the purpose of your web page. Within 15 seconds, a user should be comfortable navigating your page.

Imagine how the 5/15 rule could improve this site .Help Readers Understand the Purpose of Your Webpage

Be clear: dont force web users to think.Be succinct: write 50% (or less) of the text you would have used in a print publication.Make text brief and easy to scan with chunks and subheads.Focus on benefits and not just features of a program, event, renovation, etc.Use testimonials.

Example of writing for ease of scanning:

Example of using chunks and testimonials:

Make Your Headlines Count

Clear trumps clever.Pique curiosity.Include action, if you can.Remember to use keywords for SEO value. (More on SEO in a minute.)

LSA Today headline examples from May & June:

Compare those with Buzzfeed.com:

Or Aol.com:

Or even Harvard:

Writing for SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Determined by keywords, links, page title, meta tags.

And yet ..Modern SEO is all about crafting content so compelling that other people want to promote it by linking to it or sharing it, which increases your trust and authority and helps the pages you want to rank well for certain keywords. copyblogger.com

Avoid these Common Pitfalls

Not getting to the point.Not writing with scanning in mind.Using acronyms and insider language.Not utilizing links and SEO.

Remember, even the best writing doesnt matter if no one can find it. Mediabistro.com

Whats Happening Today

Welcome, introductionsSurvey results!Story best practices (The Campaign)Writing for the web Group exercise Idea roll-up One story, many forms (+ wrap up)

Group ExerciseCampaign Case Study

The Department of Slavic Languages and and Literatures received a $250,000 endowment gift The gift was given by an Michigan couple who want to provide students with the opportunity to study abroad, specifically in Poland.

The gift will generate six scholarships each year with an amount totaling $7,000 per student, with the remainder in an expendable account. The department director will report on the gift annually at fiscal year-end.

The department has names of students who have studied in Poland. The couple met while studying abroad 30 years ago.

With Your Group:

Brainstorm a lead, or at least what you think youd write about in the first paragraph

Brainstorm a title

Brainstorm a teaser (no more than 30 words)

Whats Happening Today

Welcome, introductionsSurvey results!Story best practices (The Campaign)Writing for the web Group exercise Idea roll-up One story, many forms (+ wrap up)

Whats Happening Today

Welcome, introductionsSurvey results!Story best practices (The Campaign)Writing for the web Group exercise Idea roll-up One story, many forms (+ wrap up)

One Story, Many Outlets

Share the story with fundraisers and development colleaguesCarve the story into market segments: long for print, short for web, even shorter for Facebook, and 140 characters for TwitterShare the content with Michigan News for breaking stories Share the content with your unit communications team for placement in alumni magazines, e-newsletters, etc. Share your content, and ask to borrow content in return

LSA Victors of discovery , Victors of human thought and exploration, Victors of social understanding, Victors of invention, Victors of problems and solutions,Victors of knowledge Thank you!See you in 2014! Laura Lessnau Michigan News

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