What are You Looking At? Photo Policy Points to Ponder

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I read this great piece the other day about the use of photos on nonprofit organization sites. For anyone who has worked in nonprofits, you know the importance of fundraising, and nothing helps “please give” like the photo of a person benefitting from the organization’s services. You want donors to see the success in their support. But it isn’t always as easy as that. On the Nonprofit Marketing Blog, Nancy Schwartz writes about establishing a photo policy that respects legal and ethical concerns. Read more

Friday Finds: Communications For Your Eyes

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Cocoon in a fold of paint.
I am crazy about Instagram. It’s my first-thing in the morning, last thing at night channel. Before tea or coffee even, it’s Instagram. I love connecting beyond words with the views of people all over the world.  I think I get a feel for some people through their captions, others use few captions so it’s just about the photos. Some I might sense through their profiles, others are so whimsical it’s hard to tell.

This is part of what I love about Instagram: a lot of it is poetry. It’s like a net. There are strings of words, but it’s really about what you see through them.   Read more

Welcoming Site Visitors Home  

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Websites are made to connect and to move people. You want them to donate or buy. You want them to find resources or support. Whatever your website’s purpose, you need to make people feel welcome and comfortable moving around.

Imagine your website in real life- what kind of building is it? A factory? An office? A home? Read more

Friday Finds: For Better and for Worse in Health Communications

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It’s been a busy week. I haven’t been on Twitter much, because sometimes you just have to let it go. When I did hop onto Feedly here and there, I was glad to see these pieces on health communications.

What pulls all of these pieces together for me is their health literacy element. Simply defined, health literacy is the ability to understand health information so you can make informed choices. Life isn’t that simple though- health information might not always be health information; it could be advertising in disguise. Readers need to be aware what kind of information they’re reading. Is it advertising or education, or both? Read more

Friday Finds: Communications for Change

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“Take Care of Yourself. Take Care of Others. Take Care of this Place.”
This was the code of conduct written on the walls at my kids’ elementary school. I took a walk through the kids’ former schoolyard this week and saw the words again. It was a good message for the kids; it’s a good message for everyone. I made the decision to walk through social media and be online thoughtfully and minimally over the past few days. I needed to moderate all the bad news. As life is (thankfully), there are always good things happening even in a storm. Here are a couple of Friday Finds on energizing social change. Read more

Designing for Delight

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My partner and I had dinner with friends last night, and their daughters lurked on the stairs nearby listening to us gab and sing as we played cards. The girls had iPads and were bouncing around from app to app, savvy users at the age of eight. I know they’re old for me to be impressed, because they’ve been  masters for years, but I loved watching them because a) they’re two really interesting spirits I’ve known since they were born, and b) it is incredibly neat that they are so comfortable with their games. Read more

Be Better Than Handcrafted

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I was standing in line with a friend at one of the huge coffee chains the other day and snorted at the sign that crooned, in a soft yet solid font, about its handcrafted beverages.

“What does that even mean?” asked my friend.

“It means this big chain is trying to make its international recipe directions to staff look like a village business,” I said. I’ll admit I was snarky. Read more

Power Hashtag Feeds Fundraising Campaign  

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I’m fond of well used hashtags, so I like this one: #BeingHungrySucks.  It’s a tag, it’s a statement, and it’s a campaign driven by A Better Life Foundation, whose mission is to raise funds towards food security (a significant social determinant of health) as well as provide job training and employment opportunities. Programs serve Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, a trauma ridden neighbourhood that’s also rich in community and heart. Read more

Twitter Tip: Hold That Hashtag

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I’ve managed several work-related brands and my own Twitter stream for seven years, so I’m not a newbie to wading through the rapid fire of tweets and hashtags. I use both TweetDeck and Hootsuite for management and have multiple streams on the go when I check in, so lots of information moves across my screen.  (Note I didn’t say screens. I’m not using two monitors, so you communicators out there who are, hats off and my sympathies.)

The other day I bumped up against a tweet that was entirely hashtags. I say bumped up against, as not one word stood out on its own and the tweet was a mess. It was a tangle of tags, one of which, ironically, was #communications. Read more