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Heather Smith

I am a linguistech, fascinated with the evolution and interplay of language and technology. For my day job, I help drive engagement and advocacy as a Communications Consultant.

How to write a killer lead. The cursor blinked at me.

How to write a killer lead

Blink. Blink. Blink. White page staring back. Blank. 25 Ways to Create Shareable Blog Content Spin Sucks. By Gini Dietrich The trend toward using the web to grow your business continues.

25 Ways to Create Shareable Blog Content Spin Sucks

Email keeps growing exponentially, with trillions sent every year. Facebook went from university students only in 2004 to more than a billion users eight years later. Pinterest became one of the fastest-growing social networks ever. 3 criteria for a transcendent speech. Speeches, like flowers, are a moment's monument.

3 criteria for a transcendent speech

They exist most powerfully for a specific audience, a specific speaker, and a specific message. Attempts to make them have a wider impact usually fail. Of course, there are some magnificent exceptions. If we set out to create a list of the greatest American speeches, we could easily compile the short stack of moment's monuments that continue to move people to action years later: Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, John F. Kennedy's inaugural, Dr. The 5 secrets of great speechwriting. David McCloud, the chief of staff of the governor of Virginia, taught me how to write a great speech: • Great speeches are primarily emotional, not logical.

The 5 secrets of great speechwriting

. • Small shifts in tone make an enormous difference to the audience, so sweat the details. 10 surprising social media facts. If you consider yourself a social media guru, you're in for a surprise.

10 surprising social media facts

Due to social media analytics tools' rapid evolution, industry experts have uncovered a lot of new, increasingly detailed information to help marketers create more effective social media strategies. There are dozens of social media research studies out there. Here are 10 interesting social media facts you probably don't know: 1. Conference alert: How to create compelling visuals on any budget. Join experts from Whole Foods, Cisco, the American Heart Association and more to learn how to make even the most complicated message clear with visuals.

Conference alert: How to create compelling visuals on any budget

By Ragan Staff | Posted: December 22, 2014 As a communicator, you have to translate boring, complicated information into appealing, easy-to-understand messages. Nothing brings a complicated idea to life better than visual content. The best TED talks for corporate communicators. Have you ever wanted to ask Disney filmmakers how they write magical and unforgettable stories?

The best TED talks for corporate communicators

Do you think it would be fun to chat with a linguist about whether adding "selfie" to the dictionary signals the demise of English? Do you want to know what the man who curates TED talks thinks makes a compelling speech? If so, today is your lucky day. 8 traits of top employees. (Editor's note: This was one of the top viewed stories of 2014.

8 traits of top employees

We're rerunning it as part of a look back at the articles that captivated our readers the most.) Companies of all shapes and sizes are now facing higher levels of uncertainty and considerably fewer resources to spend on even top-priority initiatives. The result has been a growing significance of a certain type of employee: dynamic, consistently effective, endlessly useful, and enjoyable to work with. 7 signs your organization is mishandling employee advocacy. Employee advocacy might be a hot topic, but many business leaders fail to ensure that it delivers real benefits in today's workplace.

7 signs your organization is mishandling employee advocacy

The key to its success is empowering, training and encouraging employees to collaborate, share and build communities and to help amplify the brand's content, culture and story through social media channels. Employee advocacy is essential for successful efforts such as social selling, marketing to key audiences and customer service. Presentation Software for Mac and iPad. 9 ways to manage—and cut back on—corporate email overload. When four ruffians allegedly assaulted a 17-year-old who had stood up for a girl they were harassing on a bus in Edmonton, Canada, detectives had to get up to speed quickly.

9 ways to manage—and cut back on—corporate email overload

Using their iPhones or BlackBerrys in the field, Edmonton transit police and city cops were emailing location information and crime reports back and forth. Such exchanges are so vital that the communications department has stopped sending all-employee emails except in rare cases, says David Schneider, the department's director of corporate communications. Edmonton police are like most of us-maxed out on email, according to the survey "Email Best Practices" from Newsweaver and Ragan Communications. Eighty percent of respondents see email overload as a problem in their organization, and nearly as many (77 percent) are looking for ways to reduce the volume. 10 components of a successful internal video. Employees are inundated with internal communications, such as email, intranets, social media or, most recently, video.

How writing affects your brain. This infographic explains how writing helps your memory, how your brain reacts when it hears a story, why clichés are forgettable and more. By Kristin Piombino | Posted: December 12, 2014 Did you know writing affects your brain in a way similar to meditation? When you write, your breathing slows and you enter a "zone," which allows your words to flow more freely, an infographic from says.

5 tips for writing a perfect press release. When you write a press release, remember the dos and don'ts. They determine whether busy reporters cover your story or toss it in the trash. The top ways to catch a reporter's eye and avoid the garbage pile: Police say 3 dead, including gunman, after raid ends Sydney hostage situation. Now Playing Is there a terror connection to Man Haron Monis? Police say three people are dead -- including the gunman -- after authorities stormed a Sydney cafe early Tuesday, bringing to a dramatic end a 16-hour standoff in which a jihadist and murder suspect had held 17 hostages in a scene much of the world watched on television. A series of explosions, believed to be gunshots and flash grenades, came just before 2:30 a.m. local time as several more hostages fled Lindt Chocolat Cafe, where a man identified as Man Haron Monis, an Iranian also known for sending hate mail to the families of fallen soldiers, was holed up with the captives.

Authorities say Monis was shot and killed during the confrontation with police. A 34-year-old man and 38-year-old woman also were among the dead, police said. Several people were taken from the building on stretchers as an alarm rang and police in riot gear moved in and out of the shop, in the heart of Australia's largest city's business district. Police say 3 dead, including gunman, after raid ends Sydney hostage situation. 30 Challenging Apps that will Make You Smarter. Nowadays you can have more than just fun with your apps – you can also use them to become smarter. Here are 30 apps you can use to help your memory, challenge your IQ, and help you to expand your brain. Tools To Lead A Smarter Life 1. Casual Casual helps handle tasks and projects in a new way: the app is amazingly visual.

December 2014 Reads

23 Mind-Blowing Animal Pictures - What to Do When Bored. Ten Minute Writing Exercises - stimulate creativity. Life. The Definitive Guide To Engaging Content Marketing. Content marketing is the process of creating valuable, relevant content for the purpose of attracting, acquiring and engaging your audience. What you can learn from competitors' press releases.

Ugh, your competitor got yet another press release printed in your local newspaper. 22 Facebook facts you should know. Infographic Manic. 30 Habits that Will Change your Life. Developing good habits is the basic of personal development and growth. Motivational Quote Monday (28 Photos) » The Drop Kings. 13 Fascinating Facts about Japan. 50 MORE Journal Writing Prompts. 300+ Mind Expanding Documentaries. Source: | Original Post Date: January 12, 2014 – I watch a lot of documentaries. I think they are incredible tools for learning and increasing our awareness of important issues. The power of an interesting documentary is that it can open our minds to new possibilities and deepen our understanding of the world. On this list of mind expanding documentaries you will find different viewpoints, controversial opinions and even contradictory ideas.

Critical thinking is recommended. Beautiful poem. 18 Best Movies On Netflix You Haven't Yet Seen. Synonyms for words commonly used in student's writing. 40 Most Useful Travel Websites That Can Save You a Fortune. Synonyms for the 96 most commonly used words in English. The Power of the Senses: How to Fire Up Any Story Description. Hans and Ola Rosling: How not to be ignorant about the world. Matthew O'Reilly: “Am I dying?” The honest answer. Susan Colantuono: The career advice you probably didn’t get. Can We Auto-Correct Humanity? - DFCOvideo.

45 Pieces of Career Advice That Will Get You to the Top. Welcome to Forbes. Journalism’s biggest competitors are things that don’t even look like journalism. 99 motivational quotes for entrepreneurs. The Power of Owned Media. The 5 Worst Networking Flops, and How to Recover From Them. The Power of Owned Media. 5 Tips for Creating Content People Actually Want to Read. 101 different types of content. The 6th Annual Employee Communications, PR and Social Media Summit. 10 Common Blog Writing Mistakes (Infographic) The value of writing what you don't know.

How We Research: A Look Inside the Buffer Blog Process. 8 successful headlines—and the psychology behind them. 4 questions that will ensure you have the authenticity X-factor. 5 qualities PR leaders must have. 6 ways to find the right reporters to pitch. 3 fundamentals of startup PR. Brand journalism is the new PR. Learn how Whole Foods, Mashable, IBM, and more have transformed their PR practices.

Special Edition: Presenting the winners of PR Daily’s 2014 Digital Awards. PR lessons from Advertising Week. PowerPoint vs. flipcharts: Which should you use? How to jazz up your technical presentation. The 5 secrets of great speechwriting. The Four Different Types of Media Spin Sucks. People with strong writing skills get paid more. Do you bury the lede? How to optimize infographics for search and social media.

Analytics and URLs help Cision prove its ROI. Study: Millennials value and share branded content. Follow up right with journalists: 5 golden rules. Most communicators will measure email within a year, survey says. Last Call. Lessons from Gap: Tying your brand to social causes and values. Conference alert: Everything PR pros need to know about content marketing. The 8 rules of internal communication.