Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Resource Round-Up

I know I've been quiet lately, but I've still been collecting the interesting things I've found online and offline. Here's a resource-roundup so I can finally catch up:

  • Find Out About Helsinki's Information To Go Station Library Journal. June 15, 2005) According to the Library Journal the barrel iGS (Information Gas Station) has been placed in train stations to conferences. The LJ article also states that the Helsinki Library was the first to win Bill and Melinda Gates annual $1 million award. And I'm not just mentioning this because I think Finns rock. Though they do of course.

  • The latest issue of Ragan's Grapevine (a free e-newsletter from Ragan Communications) includes Please Release Me a reminder of press release basics. You can view and sign up for all of Ragan's free newsletters here.

  • If you haven't heard, the June 2005 issue of Chris Olson's Marketing Treasures newsletter is out. There's some good articles in this issue.
  • How do you get men to join a book club? Make it about sports. The Smithtown Public Library, NY, is hosting what it believes to be the first all-male book club. (via Library Hotline, March 16, 2005).
Ok, that's all the catching up I can handle for tonight.

Rev Up Your Readership

Ann Wylie's free e-newsletter, Revving Up Readership, contains tips and advice on improving your writing. You can subscribe and read it yourself online. To get a taste of Ann's tips visit her online article archive. Some articles to check out:

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The Art of Good Writing

I'm hesitating a moment before writing this because I know people that live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. And when it comes to writing, I certainly live in a glass house. However, writing is such a fundamental part of public relations and marketing that improving that skill is well worth the effort. So here's a few sources of writing tips that I felt were good reminders.
  • "Does Your Writing Suck?" Expert PR Newsletter. May 2005.
    • This short article describes e-mail no-nos, but the tips apply to any medium. My favorite tips: 1. Lose the all caps. Figure you get one word in all caps per day. 2. No exclamation points - ever.
Number one is a cinch for me because I absolutely, positively hate all caps. Oh, it's fine for emphasizing the rare single word but anything beyond that is just annoying. As far as never using exclamation points, well that may be a little harsh. I happen to have a strong fondness for the exclamation point. It's my favorite piece of punctuation. I agree, however, that a little e.p. goes a long way. Using too many exclamation points makes me think someone is either on uppers or is trying too hard.
  • Plain English Campaign Site - Your messages won't be received if the audience can't understand them, so keep it simple. Best tips:
    • Keep your sentences short
    • Use active verbs
    • Choose appropriate words for your audience
    • Use positive language
These are all great tips to keep in mind when writing for any purpose.