Hot Topics

This page gathers Karen’s “evergreen” writing about hot topics in content strategy, web design, and organizational communications.

Corporate Storytelling

woman reading a book with colors emergingStories. They’re what people remember  Yet let marketing and development professionals sit down to their desks in a corporate setting, and what happens when they start to write? Well, they churn out dull grey platitudes and pompous marketing cliches. They purr over features, benefits, and selling points. Here’s how to stop that.

Storytelling for Social Media  A post about the institutionalization of social media, describing ways in which social media has matured and become increasingly complex.

A tale of 2 testimonials — is one of them yours?  Just about every  company I’ve done work for has asked me to interview a major client and craft a testimonial for marketing purposes. Before I start the work, they ask me what it’s going to cost. After six years of tackling these projects, I finally have an answer.

“What would you like to see happen?”  Ask yourself that question. Now try asking that question to someone else. The results can be magical, as I’ll explain.

Web Design and Online Content

iStock social media strategyWhy there’s nothing funny about your website’s photos  Why is it that companies are willing to spend thousands of dollars to launch new websites with the latest SEO and social-media bells and whistles but then go all Scrooge when it comes to spending $1,000 to get  one photo of their building and basic headshots of their four top executives?

Quick fixes for commercial websites: How to diagnose customer pain points  The truth is that very few marketing teams know if their websites are making life painful for visitors — and that’s because the customer complaints don’t get back to us. Here’s how to find out what’s really going on.

Getting control of your content: The Language of Content Strategy (book review)  Managing content — video, photos, audio, brochures, packaging, user manuals, sales training materials, and customer service documents — constitutes major work at any organization. Or at least it would if people did it.

Mobile-friendly web design: Look before you leap into the future  Your new mobile-friendly website may unexpectedly shut out your customers or employees who use older desktop or laptop computers. Here’s why.

Effective content: Rethinking your About page  There are several types, each with their own benefits and limitations. How does your About page measure up?

Social Media Strategy and Other Organizational Communication Issues

businesswomanSocial media mistake #1: Fuzzy pink slippers that don’t fit  It doesn’t take once-a-year holiday shopping to bring out this sort of irrational thinking in people. In fact, I see it at least once a week when a business owner calls me (or a colleague) and wants to know how much we charge for “the social media package.”

Decluttering your organization — taking the lead  Many people lug around huge piles of clutter that is not physical, but intellectual. The phrases “But we’ve always done it that way!” “What if something goes wrong?” and “What if someone yells at me?” are symptoms of that clutter.


3846079983_95a76de3d4Better Strategies for Nonprofit Websites  Frustration with nonprofit websites is rampant — among executive directors, boards, web teams, and website users. This doesn’t have to be the case. The solutions are there — but not in a new website design, a new webmaster, more money, or “more content.”

Karen’s Ignite presentation on nonprofit boards  Karen has created a detailed, 30-minute version of this presentation for meetings, conferences and training events. It includes handouts, including a checklist for prospective board members.

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