Sunday, November 21

Receiving Messages: Fresh Content Project

Fresh Content ProjectIf I could underscore anything I said while teaching a social media class at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, it would be that communication always comes back to people. I don't mean this in the puffy "let's all hold hands" sort of way. I mean it in the sense that the more you think about the person or people receiving a message, the more successful you will be.

Consider the the following five posts within this context and you might pull something more from them. All of them directly or indirectly tie back into the human portion of the storytelling and communication equation. It's never enough to rely on numbers or blast out a message. You always have to consider how and who is receiving the message, keeping in mind that you are talking to people and not lists or data fields.

Best Fresh Content In Review, Week of November 1

Designing the Customer Experience..
Valeria Maltoni takes a hard look at the customer experience, online and offline. The questions are exactly the ones any communicator ought be asking. How can we make something a positive experience? What can we do to make sure consumers come back time and time over? Where do we need data to help deliver the experience? She also rightly cautions against looking toward customer complaints alone. They only represent customers that care enough about a brand to say something.

• Why Facebook And Twitter Are Not Replacing Blogging.
Danny Brown takes a hard look at the numbers recently shared in a study by Technorati. The study, not surprisingly, is skewed, mostly because Technorati isn't as relevant today as it once was and the sampling size of the audience it spoke to suggests a significantly higher margin of error than most professionals would feel comfortable with. The bottom line is that social networks have made a significant change in the way blogs function, but they have not even come close to replacing them. Case in point, of all the links shared on social networks, as much as 80 percent are blogs or content used for blogs.

• 15 List Post Ideas When You Get Writer’s Block.
Tristan Higbee offers up 15 post ideas that can help any blogger struggling with writer's block or can sometimes save a communicator from looking too deep into any number of topics when they don't have time. While it is largely a tactical solution, the underlying idea has merit in its presentation. Higbee had written this post a guest, but you can find his blog, BloggingBookshelf, if you would like to add him to your list. The work seems largely tactical (and sometimes gamey), but the content can still be useful.

A Brief Tale Of An Unsolicited, Off-Topic, Embargoed Pitch.
I am not a fan of embargoes (use them at your own risk), but the story Shel Holtz weaves within his post goes a long way in helping novice communicators understand how to effectively work with embargoed material. First and foremost, any embargo agreement is best arranged prior to the release of the material. At the same time, he provides some perspective about blasting out releases to bloggers. More often than not, media lists do more damage then they are worth. It always pays to know to whom you are sending any communication and why.

• An Interview With Musician Kevin Connolly On Storytelling.
One of the first tips I tell any student in a writing class, regardless of style, is that they can learn by looking well beyond their professional niche. Ted Page does this by interviewing Kevin Connolly on the subject of storytelling. While they discuss why some elements of song storytelling are different, you might be surprised to discover that many are actually the same. You need a hook, you have limited time (or space), and you want people to have a physical or emotional reaction to it. When you read the entire interview (twice if you are smart enough to), you'll find much more worthwhile communication advice than your average communication post.
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