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Careful with the email window dressing

By Seamus Byrne in Media News on

 

When you're dealing with journalists with a more technical persuasion, don't forget they can often be using tools that give them more custom control over how and what they see. And this means they want to access the information you’re sharing in the most clinical way possible.
 
We've discussed how you make emails personal, which is definitely a top priority, but it's also important to deliver the information in a way that can be read – and searched – by the journalist without too much fuss.
 
This means:
 
- Do not ONLY include the important text in an attachment
- Do not ONLY include the important text in an embedded image
- Be careful with your text formatting
 
Those first two should be obvious, but they happen often enough to know that many people seem to worry more about making something look pretty or just converting a Word doc into a PDF as the most comfortable path to delivery. To those people – stop doing that.
 
The text formatting makes fine sense when used carefully and sparingly. Bold headings and section breaks can help the eye fall to the right places quickly. The occasional bold product name or important details about an embargo highlighted in red. All very helpful.
 
But some people also go crazy with font changes and text scale changes, or every keyword bolded and italicised. Suddenly the information is chaotic, and just plain hard to read. 
 
I'm quite sure many don't even realise that their email client is applying widespread HTML code across their emails, applying encoded white backgrounds and black text colours to the entire message. This means the more and more beloved 'dark mode' options in various email clients or web browsers are broken, and in a flow of white-on-black emails your hard coded message pops back into black-on-white.
 
This layer of presentation is pedantic stuff to complain about. Maybe it turns out that an enforced colour scheme does make a message stand out and get noticed a little more? I'll let you keep your HTML if you just make sure you are careful with the flourishes and the formatting so that the words themselves are comfortably readable with only the key points highlighted along the way.
 
One of the most important factors is searchability. Many journalists won't be using your new information on the day they receive it. But 10 days later, when the moment comes, they want to be able to type in the keywords of your client or their latest product and have that message appear.
 
Accessibility is also an important consideration. For those who work with screen readers or braille keyboards or other services to help them access their email in non-standard ways, anything beyond semantic formatting (bolds, italics, and underlines) will either be stripped away or actually prevent these readers from accessing the information.
 
For all those still doing image-based releases (it's not many, but it's still too many) or PDF attachments (a lot), your clients details may never appear in a search, leaving you with only that very first shot at getting a journalist to act on the details in your release.
 
So don't try to be too fancy. Do 'just enough' to help the text do its work while ensuring every journalist can comfortably read and access the information regardless of how they access their email.

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Sams assumes AFR fashion editor post

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Lauren Sams has been appointed to a fashion editor position with the Australian Financial Review (AFR). 

She had spent the past year with the paper as correspondent and luxury editor, which included editing the quarterly Luxury insert.

Follow Sams on LinkedIn.

Camilleri takes up Herald-Sun opinions post

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Rosie Camilleri has moved up at the Melbourne Herald-Sun as its new opinions editor.

The post will also see her process opinion materials for the Herald-Sun’s weekend edition.

She had previously been subeditor for the paper and Leader Community Newspapers.  

Follow Camillieri on LinkedIn.

Dutton promoted to Canberra Times news director post

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Chris Dutton has been appointed news director for the Canberra Times.

He had spent the past five years at the sports desk as editor. 

Follow Dutton on Twitter @BlockaDutton.

Marshall to edit Camper Australia

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Veteran outdoors writer Glenn Marshall has joined Camper Australia as its new editor-at-large.

Chris Jefferson, GM of Camper Australia parent firm Adventures Group Holdings, said Marshall’s experience in covering Australia’s outdoor adventure scene made him the perfect fit for the magazine. 

Marshall is well-known for his contributions to leading travel publications including 4×4 Australia, Pat Callinan’s 4×4 Adventures, Camper Australia, and Caravan World.

“I will continue doing what I love: Living the dream, Sharing the Experience,” said Marshall of his new appointment.

AusGamers and the fight for a better game culture

By Seamus Byrne in Media News on
AusGamers is approaching its 20th anniversary, a rare feat of longevity in the digital domain. But its success is in no small part thanks to a passionate core of staff and fans who have known and loved the site since its earliest days as a file mirror and forum.
 
Stephen Farrelly has run AusGamers since its shift toward covering games, and with a monthly audience in the 250,000 per month ballpark he’s proud of what the site has become since then, and proud that he pays the people who contribute to the site.
 
“We were the first site that Metacritic invited from Australia, we were the first site invited to be part of Geoff Keighley’s voting processes for E3 judging and The Game Awards,” says Farrelly. “From those early times we got access to all the good stuff and all the good people.”
 
Farrelly is quick to call out Kosta Andreadis as a big part of the site’s success – “I think he’s the most underrated write

Ahern leads new STEM publication

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Ex-Cosmos Media CEO/co-founder Kylie Ahern has come forward with a new STEM newsletter called The Brilliant.

Scheduled for release every Thursdays, the publication is designed to educate the public on STEM-related matters, including profilers on leading researchers and new scientific advances. 

It will also support the advocacies of industry body STEM Matters, of which Ahern is the CEO. 

“There’s definitely a hunger from within the STEM sector, and from the wider community to hear from the experts and be inspired by the progress and results in meeting the biggest challenges that we face as a society. The Brilliant plugs that knowledge gap,” said Ahern.

The plan calls for The Brilliant to be published as a free newsletter, with paid advertisers to follow if readership grows.

Catching up with David Hague on the Australian Videocamera journey

By Seamus Byrne in Media News on

 

David Hague is an industry stalwart and has been carving his own path with his Australian Videocamera website and e-magazine for a good long time now. We asked him a few questions to help catch us up on his approach and how the efforts have been going.
 
How long have you been running in this format now? How often has it been tweaked along the way?
About 7 years now. Major tweak was going from web only to jointly with an interactive approximately monthly PDF once I discovered how to embed video into a PDF as a streaming file (NOT an easy task!). Adobe tell me they have made this easier in the latest updates of InDesign and I am investigating this now.
 
We have also changed from the original monthly magazine template designed web hosting system to a flexible WordsPress one (3 years ago). We did a brief flirt with a name change to Film Video and Virtual Reality (and the website still reflects this behind the scenes) but it didn’t have the right “ring&rdq

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