10 Tips for Writing News Ledes that Get Editorial Attention   

10 Tips for Writing News Ledes that Get Editorial Attention  

Photo by G. Crescoli on Unsplash

The problem with most news releases is that they’re not newsworthy. But presuming you actually have something to say, the next problem is how to say it to get an editor’s attention. First, you have to write a great subject header and headline. If you’ve gotten that far, congratulations: You’ve gotten the editor to open your email.

Then comes the next big hurdle: the lede.

What climate leadership means, and how the U.S. is losing it

What climate leadership means, and how the U.S. is losing it

President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement was widely criticized as abandoning the United States’ leadership role in climate change policy and the global transition to a clean energy economy.

But that begs some fundamental questions: What does it mean to have the climate leadership role? Did the United States ever have it? If it did, who will take over?

Photo by Thomas Hafeneth on Unsplash

12 Storytelling Strategies to Supercharge Your Case Studies

12 Storytelling Strategies to Supercharge Your Case Studies

Case studies make for ideal content marketing vehicles. Here are a dozen strategies that activate the power of storytelling to draw in more prospects, intrigue them with your solutions and convert them to leads. Use this model to develop your questions and structure your case study. Photo credit: Dominik QN | Unsplash

Utilities foresee a coal-free future, despite President Trump

Utilities foresee a coal-free future, despite President Trump

If you get caught up in the headlines about the Trump administration’s energy policies, you might envision a nightmare of fuming smokestacks, billowing cooling towers and fat coal trains lumbering toward the horizon. But if you ask the people who run the nation’s utility companies, they’ll tell you a different story. Their vision includes solar panels, wind turbines and natural gas pipelines. And a grid that increasingly runs like the internet. Photo credit: Karsten Wurth | Unsplash

Message Platforms Fail Without a Champion in the C-Suite

Message Platforms Fail Without a Champion in the C-Suite

A message platform can unify, clarify and vivify how you position your company to the world. But it's only as good as it's supported from the top of the organization. In this post, I'll take you on the journey of one creation process that started on a promising note but then went awry. And I'll provide a post mortem on how it could have all turned out on a sunnier note. Photo credit: Todd DeSantis | Unsplash

 

 

 

Selling energy efficiency? New report says ‘lead with the environment’

Selling energy efficiency? New report says ‘lead with the environment’

A new report from Shelton Group turns the orthodoxy about energy-efficiency marketing messaging on its head. “The tired old messaging about savings has lost its potency, if it ever had any to begin with,” the energy and environment marketing and research firm says in its Energy Pulse 2016 Special Report, “Playing the Planet Card, is it finally time to talk about the environment to promote residential energy efficiency?” Photo credit: NASA | Unsplash

How to change people’s minds about climate change—or not

How to change people’s minds about climate change—or not

Can you change your Uncle Fred’s (or any American’s) mind about climate change? A study published in late 2015 in the journal Topics in Cognitive Sciences does not leave cause for optimism. Photo credit: Alex Gindin | Unsplash

10 lessons from 35 years of professional writing

10 lessons from 35 years of professional writing

I got my first writing job out of the University of Oregon in 1981. Since then, I’ve worked as a newspaper reporter, a corporate communicator and, for the past 20 years, a freelance writer. I've completed one (unpublished) novel and am working on another. I’m still learning, but here are 10 things I figured out in that time.

10 tricks to release a stream of content from internal producers

10 tricks to release a stream of content from internal producers

If you’re like most marketing managers at small- to medium-sized B2B firms, you’re expected to deliver a constant stream of quality content on a shoestring budget.

That often means you must rely on internal subject matter experts to produce your content. Internal people whose top priorities don’t always match yours. Who are not writers. And who don’t always come through, despite their best intentions.

When I worked in corporate communications for an electric utility, I edited several publications. Even though I wrote a lot of the articles myself, I couldn’t do it all. I had to rely on staffers. In the process, I learned a few tricks to get people to contribute quality content on time.

Here are 10 ways to get internal content producers to deliver.

Our Story: Six strategies to make your Our Story page pull in readers

Our Story: Six strategies to make your Our Story page pull in readers

Does your website’s Our Story page (or sub-section of your About page) tell a story? Or does it act more like an About page, telling us what you do, what you make, who you serve and why that’s unique?

Not that there’s anything wrong with an About page. In fact, it’s really important to have one. Sometimes your prospects just want a stripped-down, plain-English description of who you are. They don’t want to wade through a bunch of hifalutin language to get there. So give them an About page.

But don’t get your About and Our Story pages mixed up. There’s a big difference.