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SWON News: The Low Down

Increase Your Program Attendance with Publisher

Monday, April 13, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Nathan Swartzendruber
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Short and sweet

Writing promotional materials for your library is tough. But whether you're advertising an upcoming program or explaining library services, short and sweet can get you pretty far.


What you gain out of being brief is clarity. It's easy to slip into wordiness—"Don't miss this great opportunity to..."—that says nothing important. Readers who skip filler (and why shouldn't they?) might skip over important details that are mixed in. By aiming to only include the juicy details, you're giving readers the best chance at finding them.

Rambling writing can be caused by indecision. Should you use this example or a different one? Why not both? Other program descriptions have an introduction like this, so I guess mine should too? Trying to be brief pushes you to make choices, and that's good for your writing.

Sometimes writers use lots of words because they don't know the details. You don't want to include the entire description that the speaker sent, but would your shorter version promise the wrong thing? Find out. Talk to the speaker, get the details straight, and then write.

Short is sweet

You can be brief without being terse. Focus on how people will benefit, not on what they'll do. What will people end up being better at, faster at, smarter at? Learning about Overdrive might just sound like work. Learning how to download free books and audiobooks probably still sounds like work, but people know what they'll get out of it.

Getting straight to the point shows respect for your reader. After all, your short version explains what they'll get out of coming. If you can't find a benefit in what you're promoting, that's a red flag. On the other hand, if your program planning includes how people will benefit from attending, writing about it is a lot easier.

Short writing takes more work than lengthy writing. But it gets easier with practice, and it's worth the effort.

  • Nathan Swartzendruber, SWON Technology Educator

Increase your program attendance with Publisher

Having well-written text to work with is its own task. Now place that text on the page so that readers can quickly make sense of it. How? By applying the basic-basics of print design. Using Publisher can help!

In the Microsoft Publisher Level-Up Lab, you'll learn how to use essential Publisher features and design basics to create simple but on-target documents. Bring your work in progress, the write-up for an upcoming program or last year's newsletter.

Nathan will lead this 2-hour Lab, where you'll get hands-on Publisher practice and help with your project. Join us next week at SWON for this free session.

Take 5 on April 24th

"An Ohio Youth Services Dialogue on Challenges, Solutions, and Emerging Best Practices" is a mouthful. The short version is, if you work with youth, you'll want to be there.

Bringing together museum and arts educators, and librarians of various stripes, Take 5 helps you find new ideas, learn from your peers, and ask burning questions. With three speaker sessions on the theme Make It Happen and built-in discussion times, there's lots to gain from this day in Cincinnati. Register now!

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