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Writing for Electronic Media

October 9, 2019

Homework #7
Writing for Electronic Media So far, we have learned general
communications strategies that will help you become a more effective
communicator, as well as the process of planning, writing,
and completing messages.
  Beginning with Chapter 7, we will be focusing
on specific types of messages.
In each chapter, we will be studying different
kinds of messages, and for some of those weeks, you will be writing a document based on what
you have learned in that chapter.
Chapter 7 focuses on electronic messages of
various types.
We will discuss different types of electronic
media, and explain how writing for electronic media is
different than traditional written communication. You will apply what you’ve learned about
writing in general and writing specific to electronic media in this
week’s written work. Any media that takes advantage of electronic
technology and stores information digitally
would qualify as electronic media. You probably use a range of electronic media
already in your life. Examples of electronic media include:
Social networks. This broad category includes
Facebook and the business oriented LinkedIn, but also sites with user-generated content
such as Instagram for photo sharing and
YouTube for videos, as well as many others. Email. Email is the oldest of these
technologies, and is still useful in business
communication, but is also being replaced for some purposes
by other technologies listed here. Instant Messaging – simple interactions that
can be handled quickly are often done with
messaging software Text Messaging is used by companies to offer
coupons and promote special offers or provide customer service such as order
updates Blogging – Businesses use blogs to interact
with customers and generate interest in products and actions of
companies. Microblogging sites such as Twitter help get
messages out quickly Podcasts can be used for training courses or
to replace newsletters More than half of the world’s largest
companies now have their own branded
channels on YouTube, and smaller companies have created clever
videos that produce exposure for their products and
companies such as OraBrush How many letters do you read daily? How
about email messages, tweets, blog posts,
or online articles? As time passes, more of our communications
are electronic.
However, there are still reasons why a printed
message might be preferable. The book
lists several examples. A letter of congratulations or condolences
might be better as a traditional printed
document. A legal requirement might dictate a written
Your message might need to be a permanent
or secure record, that can’t be erased or
changed. So there are places for both electronic and
traditional messages in business
. As you are probably aware, electronic media
changes pretty rapidly. For example, Twitter was only started in 2006, and Facebook in 2004. So rather than focus on the details of any one
medium here, let’s focus on the principles of producing good
quality communication. The three step process you are already
familiar with can be used to create any
communication. Make sure you understand your audience and
your purpose before you write.
Write flawlessly. Your writing won’t be taken
seriously if it has errors in it. So, some of the things you will do to produce
electronic communications are similar to
what you would do to produce traditional
written communication. What does good electronic communication
look like? It’s informal. Remember to use a
conversational style, but omit any culture
specific references. Write concisely, with meaningful headlines.
Readers want to know what your subject is
right away, and search engines need to be able to figure
out your topic. Honesty has always mattered, but in our world
where facts are readily available and easy to
verify, it’s more important than ever. Electronic communication is more likely to be
part of an ongoing conversation, so your communication should sound like it’s
written to converse with someone, instead of inform or lecture the recipient. Your company has a personal style, and that
should be reflected in your communication. Groupon, for example, is known for slightly
irreverent humorous descriptions. Here’s the description of the Pacific Pinball
Museum: “Before pinball, knocking silver balls into
targets with flippers was just part of the Navy’s plan to
weaponize dolphins.” Figure out your company’s style and use it in
your writing. All communication should focus on what the
audience needs and wants. If you are describing a product, don’t list its
features. Tell your readers what it will do for them.
Instead of “It comes in six colors” try “You can select from six different colors.” Offer your audience something useful. Announce an upcoming product launch and
include the date, explain how a product was invented or tested,
or offer images that have never been seen
before. Electronic communication typically is intended
for immediate consumption. It tends to be shorter than traditional written
communication. Imagine a blog post – would you read a
post that ran into pages and pages of text?
Probably not. The most effective electronic communications
are a screen or two of information.
It can be created and disseminated quickly. A newspaper only publishes once every 24
hours, but a blog or a tweet can be posted
immediately, and the same user can post multiple times in
a day. News related content can seem old in less
than 24 hours.
Electronic communication is often part of
a community, such as the performance art collective Improv
Everywhere, which posts missions and recruits individuals
to participate in humorous or gently awkward social
situations and preserves the results as videos, or, a microfinance site that allows
people to invest in very small businesses all
over the world, and offers stories and team competition for
self organized groups. Expect and encourage responses to your
Content gets stale fast. Although older content persists on the
internet and can be found with searches, most content is viewed near the time of
creation. The blogs that get the most views, for
example, offer new content frequently.
Remember that once information is released
in electronic form, you no longer control who
sees it. Email can be forwarded, screen shots can be
taken of private photos or words, and any publicly available content can be seen
by anyone who finds it. For this week’s writing assignment, you will
have a choice of two different blog posts from the book’s end of chapter problems.
Remember to use the three step writing
process as you work. Plan your communication: figure out whom
your intended audience is, and what your goal is with your
Write: Use the information in the text and
here to create your message. Use a conversational, informal style. Offer
valuable content to your readers, such as
relevant links. Make it easy for your reader to grasp your
message at a glance with a useful and informative
Revise: Edit your writing to eliminate errors. In a real blog post, you would also add tags or
descriptive words that would help readers
search for your content. For this week, you will select one of two
problems from the end of chapter 12. Both are
blog posts. For problem 13, you will describe what Comic-
Con is for readers of a pop culture blog. You can learn more about Comic-Con on their
web site.
For problem 15, you would be writing a post explaining to concerned parents what some of
the positive effects of video game play are, according to a Pew Research Survey. The link
to the survey appears below.
For the end of chapter problems, the book
offers suggested solutions. Obviously, your writing will not match the
book’s solution exactly and that’s fine. However, I will provide a copy of the book’s
answer in case you want to compare it to your own work.
Once the due date for the assignment has
passed, you have an additional week to
complete the work for partial credit. After that additional week has passed, the
book’s solution will be posted, and no additional late work will be accepted
after it’s posted
From this point on, the best choice for turning
in your work will usually be a document you create in word
processing software such as Word, which you should know how to use by now,
since it was covered in week 5.
Create your document, save it, and email it to
the class address as an attachment. As always, check the rubric if you want
additional information about how the
assignment will be graded. You will receive back from me a completed
rubric and edited work, if your work required

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