Write emails destined to be opened


We all long for a 50% open rate on our emails. Ok, so maybe you aim even higher. But what is it that bumps that open rate? We’ve found a few of the secrets and it is really no secret at all – it’s all about interesting content.

What makes it interesting? Well Copy Blogger says it’s all about asking the right questions when you are writing. They give a terrific example of using the who, what, where, why, when and how formula to jazz up what could be a very boring topic.

Ragan.com goes on to break it down even further by reminding us that we really have to make our posts all about our readers. Rule number one is to personalize your writing style; make the reader believe you are connecting one on one rather than writing something aimed broadly at everyone. Be comfortable, read it out loud and craft your writing so your sister in Kansas can easily understand and relate to your copy. Don’t get all preachy, instead be conversational and don’t be afraid to inject your personality. There’s a few more good tips when you click through, so go ahead, indulge us and give us those sought after open rates and click rates.



An actual recipe for success

Last week we explored press releases – now comes an actual recipe for creating your own DYI press list that will yield better results. It’s about understanding who cares. Who has actually covered your stories and how are they presenting your side?


Still beating your head against the wall trying to get a national outlet to pay attention? Stop now. Local is where it is at. Local coverage can actually end up being the MOST important, because it has a more direct line to influencers on the ground.

And then, start thinking out of the box. Are there feature writers who would love to delve into your members’ lives? How about a columnist who understands that without good wages your community would suffer? Are you on friendly terms with any investigative unit in your area? Since a lot of news outlets are disbanding their investigative teams local startups like Investigate West are breaking new ground and great stories.

And a new one your might not have thought about are the podcasts launched by media outlets. They’re continuing to grow, and they’re totally pitch-able. Check out these favorites: PBS’s Shortwave, the Center for Investigative Reporting’s Reveal and NPR’s Invisibilia.


Mustering you troops


We all know that an army of online activists is critical to amplify a message and get the attention of targets and the media. Are you cultivating this cadre of leaders? Are they getting the training they need to support campaigns effectively online?  Can you count on them to act strategically where and when it matters? Members will leave this Social Movement Technologies training inspired to take action to support campaigns on Facebook and Twitter and with specific skills to do that effectively. Registrants will get a recording and all slides, so no problem if you can’t make it live.

Thursday May 5, 2016, 7-8pm EST / 4-5pm PST 

ILCA members get a huge discount on trainings from Social Movement Technologies but you must forward this email to them when you sign up to confirm your discount.


Making Corporations Accountable


Do you feel powerless in the face of corporate domination over workers & inequality? Here’s your chance to change the world! This class, sponsored by the AFL-CIO and Cornell Univ., (June 12-17 in Ithaca, NY) will empower you to make corporations accountable by working as researchers in unions and social change organizations. Application deadline for the Strategic Corporate Research Summer School is April 29. BE THE CHANGE!




Social Media Round-up

News from Facebook’s just-concluded developers conference: nonprofits can now use Instant Articles. These are articles published directly via FB, a feature previously available only to major publishers like NYT etc. Of course this is a boon for FB because it keeps content in their walled garden, as opposed to people leaving the site to read an article elsewhere. But it may also help get your org’s content in front of more people


7 Twitter Analytics Metrics You Should Check Right Now


Opinion Page Yellow Pages – M+R has put together an up to date list of all the opinion page editors and you can find them here


7 “Bad” Writing Habits To Keep, According to Author Mary Roach


A year into its new original content strategy, Upworthy is focusing on do-good videos instead of clickbait




What we’re reading

Bruce Springsteen’s NC concert cancellation over the passage of HB2 caused a bit of a stir in the NC Legislature and the conservative religious community. One Theological author posted an open letter to Bruce decrying his concert cancellation. But on the site shrinktank.com Dr. Ryan Kelly posted a response that could and should help frame the debate on “bathroom legislation.”

It was proven again this week that when people want to talk about rescuing American Democracy the media just won’t listen. The Young Turks examined coverage of Democracy Spring.

University of Chicago Medicine didn’t want an adult trauma center. What caused its change of heart? In part one of our two-part series, we examine how activists and their allies upped the pressure on the prestigious university health system.

Paying for Low-Wage Pollution — Economic justice activists are championing laws that shift the costs of toxic poverty wages from communities to corporations.