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Posts Tagged ‘campaigns

International Plain Language Day (IPLD) October 13, 2011 is gaining global support from plain language professionals in Sweden, the UK, Canada, the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, India, and Africa.Events and contests are being planned in various localities.

So far, we know of these plans for IPLD:

In South Africa, a social media meme for the worst example of gobbledygook.

In Calgary Alberta Canada, a petition campaign on City Hall steps to have IPLD declared by the city for 2012.

In Atlanta Georgia, another contest for an example of the worst government writing.

In Ottawa Canada, a celebratory luncheon.

In Washington DC, a workshop for government writers.

“The movement for plain language is really growing. For example, LinkedIn’s Plain Language Advocates Group I host is nearing 800 international members.” said Cheryl Stephens, a leader in the movement and an expert in plain legal language, “From October 13, U.S. government materials written for the public must be in plain language.We’ve chosen this date to celebrate hard-won achievements in many countries who are making materials understandable and usable.”

“Plain Language” is the design of clear information focused on the reader, to fit the reader’s information needs and reading abilities.

“Cheryl Stephens and I started the international plain language network and conferencing in the early 90s using only email and web pages,” said Kate Harrison Whiteside, a social media and plain language consultant. “For IPLD we are using all the social technology available to get world-wide support for this important day.”

The health, legal, government, banking, social, education and business sectors around the world are all making progress in recognizing the need and the demand for plain language, and putting it on their agendas.

“We need to keep raising the demand for plain language from the public,” said Stephens. “Plain language is now recognized world-wide; the next step is to have it integrated into all communication training and delivery. The importance of communicating clearly to our audience is ever greater.”

On October 13, 2011, people and organizations will be hosting events online, in offices, and on the streets to mark their support for putting readers first in communication by using plain language.


Cheryl Stephens, 1-604- 802-9606

Kate Harrison Whiteside, 1-587-896-5377

International Plain Language Day Links 

IPLD Facebook Page

Twitter – #iplday

LinkedIn – Plain Language Advocates – IPLD



Blogging for charity is a clever idea – and this is a clever site. Art graduate and freelancer Chris Watchorn has chosen WordPress as his blog platform for a charity-art fundraiser The 1 of 1 Project – a great way to use your skills, help your community and get noticed.

The 1 of 1 Project is an auction of unique (1 of 1) artist’s designed shoes. The artists have volunteered their time and the shoe companies their shoes and Chris his time. The funds raised are going to the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Winnipeg charity. And the Children’s Hospital Young Artists have done their own designer pair of shoes. So has Chris’ Mom Mary.

And of course, there is a video to support the project. This muscle medium is a must for interactivity, involvement and creating interest.

From Chris’s blog:

‘The 1 of 1 Project had two goals in mind. The first was to bring together artists who work in a range of mediums and industries including graphic design, fashion design and illustration. It was an opportunity to bring together some of Winnipeg’s up and coming artists with a blend of established North American talents. The 30 partaking artists span North America including New York, New Jersey, Los Angeles, Orlando and Portland.

The second goal was to use the donated talents to create unique art pieces that could be used to raise funds for local charity. All proceeds from the event will go towards The Children’s Hospital Foundation of Winnipeg.’

Ok, I have to confess, Chris is my nephew. But, the idea is a clever marketing tool for all involved – the charity, the artists, the shoe company, the platforms, and of course Chris. A lot of hard work, a little technology and hopefully a fantastic result for The Children’s Hospital Foundation. Good luck.

Enterprise Nation‘s Emma Jones ( hosted and led the four presentations at Furness Enterprise’s 21st Century Communications Master Class workshop today. She talked about the progression from content to community building to commercial relationships. Today’s marketing is all about moving across to peers to get work, not hierarchical like in the past.

Kate Harrison Whiteside

Kate at 21st Century Communications Event

Steve Emecz, head of Business Development at Powa, a commercial web solution for SMEs, set up a commercial site in less than 10 minutes in front of the 60 attendees. He pointed out the importance of a good site search facility, as the majority of visitors come searching for information – like your contact details. Still amazes how many people don’t put names and numbers of staff in their Contact Us section.

Our Social Times‘ Luke Brynley-Jones, a social media consultant, pointed out traditional marketing is no longer ‘working’. New media works because it simply takes word of mouth and trust to the next level – viral. The power lies in people self-selecting. Power to the people.

The North West Evening Mail publishing director Jonathan Lee used videos, produced by the newsroom’s new age journalists,  to prove his point: that it is vitally important that culturally (multimedia) is embedded in the organisation and supported from top to bottom. Describing the business as being at the hub of the community, he illustrated how comments, forums, Twitter, web chats and Facebook mean news is driven by the community not just the company. News conference’s now  begin with a check of all e-media activities first – then what is going in print. They’ve come a long way from the days of black and white printing.

All presenters agreed the key to new media is to use all formats together – print, video, blogs, Twitter, Facebook and any others that work for your business. Social media is here to stay – and all recommended getting into it – before it changes again. And, when it changes again, get on that platform as well. It is the future. But, despite it being new media, the same old marketing principles apply. It is still about connecting with people –  only the medium has changed.

Danny Brown’s ‘How to measure 5 popular social media channels’ article at has some of the best ideas and links on this topic. He talks about taking it to the next level – beyond simply brand awareness. I like his terminology ‘success guides’ for what you want to do and how much you want to invest in doing it.

Brown  recommends blogger outreach programs as one key social marketing tool. If you haven’t done this before, his link to Monica O’Brien’s step-by-step guide is the place to start. She knows about long-range planning.

Twitter is relatively easy to measure as you can look at retweets, hashtag use, vanity URL, new and campaign generated followers. But there are others.

Facebook is similar with likes, fans, sharing, tagging as the backbone. Facebook Insights, explained on YouTube by scubamarketing, is worth it for specific Facebook campaigns.

YouTube also offers a number of built-in measurement tools – and it’s always fun to watch those numbers grow!

One of the more interesting tips was for mobile marketing, and of course features the geotag site FourSquare.

Whether you are looking to get a start in social media ROI, or want some motivation and help at rejuvenating your current activities, this is a resourceful article.

Thanks Danny Brown.

Danny Brown’s Article


Campaigning is advertising.  And advertising is a key part of public relations.It’s all about customer service – and when it goes wrong, it goes very, very wrong. So how do you make it right?

As we saw with Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s awful mic-is-still-on mistake yesterday, which resulted in him insulting a loyal client by calling her a ‘bigot’, silence is golden. The old adage ‘if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all’ rings true. But, there are golden PR rules, as Social Small Business points out, that we should all try to measure up to.

These are Social Small Business’s four key questions to test your advertising for customer service PR:

They ask:” Does it:

“Peak the interest of the right customers?

Reflect the organization’s values/mission?

Prompt wanted action?

Reassure existing customers?”

They go on to discuss issues like relationship building. It is obvious this one little word, in this over-heard by the world comment by Mr Brown, has had a huge effect on the client, him, his organisation and it’s future. It’s a big price to pay, but PR errors are costly. It’s what makes organisation’s accountable to their clients.

Try this test on your advertising. It’s a very good measuring tool. And don’t forget – turn your mic off or act as if it is always on. That’s a win-win combo.

From Twitter:

@PaulEastonAssoc Who was Browns PR yesterday? ‘Mic Off’ is a golden rule as soon as they come off-camera. Ask Ron Atkinson. #Brown #Bigot

News  releases have stood the test of time, but it is time they go to the next level and meet  social media standards. The marketplace has quickly embraced social media platforms, now marketing and public relations practitioners need to integrate new media, social media sites and key links into their news releases to meet this new demand.

There is no doubt news releases are still the bedrock of marketing activities. They still work – but they can work even better if online and social media links are integrated. Gone are the days of simply providing a contact name, phone number and email address. Here are three key things to integrate into your next news release, so it can ‘evolve’ as Ian Captstick explains on Media Shift into a social media release.

Tip 1: Integrate Live Web Links

Provide live links to your websites –  link to a page that is directly connected to the topic of your news release.

Provide links to all your social media sites – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn. Include your name – as it may differ from your company’s and not be easy to find in searches.

Don’t forget to offer email links to key contacts.

Tip 2: Stand out with visual links

Embed images or graphics, which link through to your website. A picture is worth a thousand words.

Add a Google Map link – so people can see where you are.

Videos or audio (AudioBoo) podcasts embedded bring your SMR to life. Multi-media messages will stand out from the crowd.

Tip 3: Leave lots of Helpful Links

Provide a link to your site’s RSS and E-news subscription pages. Keep them coming back.

Make sure you have an up-to-date media page or site and provide the link. Keep feeding them.

Add a few helpful links to research findings, feedback or news updates on the release’s topic. Keep them informed.

The best way to succeed at social media release writing is by putting it into your marketing strategy, developing a set of guidelines and creating a social media release template.  Then train your staff. Integration is the key – and you can be a market leader by adopting this now.

If you think Twitter is just about idle chatter between people, think again. An agency, Moving Brands, had more than 40k Twitter users check out and a substantial number provide ideas over eight days for their pitch to rebrand the city of London!

Freelance UK reported on how first they set up a feed in Twitter. Then they published the onging results in a blog. Then they presented their collaborative proposal to the City, citing their belief that a ‘public’ tender requires public input. And, why wait until after the fact to involve stakeholders?

This approach could have a huge impact on the culture of bidding for publically funded projects. And, for ways to get public opinion, in writing, quickly. With a federal election looming – be prepared to see an increase in opportunities to have your say!


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