Coffee Break Course

Two-minute selections from our News University online courses.

Poynter Results

  • Storytelling

    Article

    How to tailor your content for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

    Posting on social doesn’t mean you should post the same thing on every social platform. Different audiences live on various platforms, and their expectations for types of content, tone and information can be wildly different. 

    Each platform (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.,) has unique qualities, different strengths and purposes, and a specific best use case. Here's what you should know about content that connects with different audiences:

    Facebook

  • Storytelling

    Article

    6 ways analytics help you understand your social media audience

    Different audiences live on various social media platforms, and their expectations for what you share (and how) can be wildly different. The good news is that you can use the free analytics tools offered by Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to unlock the details about your audience and share relevant content.

    Analytics can tell you:

    • Audience breakdown by gender 
    • The age of your audience
    • Where your audience is located
    • What else your audience is interest in
    • When your audience visits the site

    Using this data, you can:

  • Storytelling

    Article

    7 ideas for writing blog posts

    Even the best writers struggle from time to time in generating story ideas. This can be especially tricky for bloggers, who want to produce a steady flow of content for their audience. Here are some different types of posts you can produce:

    The Point-Counterpoint

  • Storytelling

    Article

    How to trim wordiness in your writing

    Writers often use more words than they need. While wordiness or redundancy is not “wrong” in a grammatical sense, too many unnecessary words could slow readers down and distract them. Even worse, readers could get frustrated by your writing and move on to something else. 

    Wordiness lurks in several places. You can find redundancy in adjectives and phrases that repeat information a noun already conveys. For example:

  • Tips/Training

    Article

    3 guidelines for writing breaking-news leads

    In an age in which technology gives us the ability to publish anytime, anywhere, on any platform, it can be tricky to choose the best lead--especially when the news is breaking.

    Here are some guidelines to make sure your story is the one your audience chooses.

    Time

    • Did the story just happen?
    • Are you the first to report it, or will most of your audience already know about it?
    • Is the time element crucial?

    Audience needs

  • Tips/Training

    Article

    Checklists for covering 3 kinds of beats

    Many traditional beats are defined geographically, either as a neighborhood (territorial) or a city or county (jurisdictional). Some areas that your beat covers may be obvious; others may not. Here are some places to include in jurisdictional beats.

    City hall and local government

  • Tips/Training

    Article

    4 'breath test' questions to diagnose your story leads

    The first words of any story are critical. With that precious beginning, you offer your audience a promise that your story is worth their time. That’s the heavy-duty job of your lead.

    Occasionally leads will seem to magically fly onto the computer screen. But, more often, they are the product of hard work of writing and revising. Use the “breath test” to diagnose whether your efforts will pay off with clear, engaging copy.

    Read your lead aloud and ask yourself these questions:

  • Tips/Training

    Article

    How to choose an approach that resolves conflict

    There are many styles of conflict resolution--from competition to avoidance. Experts say each of us tends to have a “default style.” Yet our preferred approach won't work in every situation.

    You need to understand each style, especially if you are in a leadership role in your organization, and when to use it. Here are five styles, drawn from the work of conflict scholars Kenneth Thomas and Ralph Kilmann, and tips on using them effectively.

    Competition

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