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  • Thursday, January 03, 2019 2:45 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Communicator of Achievement is the highest honor NDPC can bestow upon one of its members. The COA award is presented annually to a member of NDPC and the National Federation of Press Women (NFPW) who has distinguished him- or herself within and beyond his or her profession.

    NDPC’s honoree advances to the NFPW competition, where COA judging is based on professional achievement, community service, and service to NFPW and NDPC.


    Is there a fellow NDPC member whom you look up to or who you feel embodies the professional values and achievements of a communications leader? If so, now is your opportunity to nominate that person for the 2019 Communicator of Achievement Award.

    Please submit nominations to Pam Gibb at 
    pgibb@moorheadschools.org.

    ​The deadline for submissions is Jan. 7.

  • Monday, December 03, 2018 1:59 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The deadline for entering the 2019 NFPW communication contest seems like a long way off, but it will be here before you know it.  Remember: You can save $25 if you enter before midnight in your time zone on Jan. 9, 2019. The contest deadline is midnight Jan. 15 for books and Jan. 22 for all other entries.

    But don’t wait until the last minute to start gathering entries.

    “I have found it much easier to jot down prospects day to day and retrieve PDFs of newspaper tearsheets from the Hub archives once or twice a month than to try to find everything all at once just ahead of an entry deadline,” says NFPW member Lori Potter.

    The reporter, photographer and columnist for the Kearney (Neb.) Hub is a pro at entering the NFPW communications contest. She has received the national sweepstakes award four times, including 2018.

    Here are her tips for selecting and organizing work to enter in the contest:

    • Set aside good stuff early by starting a “2019 Contest Options” folder. When retrieving PDFs of your work to put in the folder, save a digital copy of the version actually published in print or online. Also save original digital images for photos.
    • Label each file with the date, topic (column, feature, news story, series) and a topic, name, place, etc., so it’s easy to find later.
    • Read the contest category descriptions to understand the judging criteria for each. Take note of categories that require a statement and the topics that must be addressed in that statement.
    • Keep an old-fashioned clipbook with page tearsheets and dated clips of everything published with your byline or photo credit. I start selecting contest entries by reviewing the clipbook. The contest options folder can be used in the same way.
    • Use a legal pad, laptop or tablet to list categories you might want to enter, leaving lots of space between category headers. Starting with January, I write the date and topic or headline of a story, photo, etc., I think fits a category. If something fits more than one category, I write the information under all of the categories.
    • After selecting entries, go into the contest options folder and change PDF labels so they now start with the category-subcategory number, letter and description. For example: 1.A. News story 7-13-18 storm damage.
    • Consolidate the start and jump pages for each story into one PDF, and size original photos to the contest limit. Then move the prepped PDFs, JPEGs, links, etc., into a “2019 Contest Entries” folder.

    “I prefer to enter everything at once after all entries are sized, labeled and ready in the ‘entries’ folder,” Potter says. “The system also works for entries submitted over time, as long as nothing is moved to the ‘entries’ folder until it’s correctly prepped.”

    The contest is two-tiered competition. You compete at the state level first. The contest has an at-large section for entrants from states without an affiliate-level contest and for international entries.

    First-place winners at the state level are eligible to move on to the NFPW contest. Some states allow nonmembers to enter at the state level, then join NFPW if they win first place. Other state contests are open to members only, so make sure to check the rules in your state.

    Winners in multiple categories are eligible for sweepstakes awards. Sweepstakes awards come with a cash prize at the national level.
    NFPW member Gordon Hesse of Delaware says the contest definitely is worth the effort to enter.

    He spent three-plus years researching, interviewing and taking photos for his nonfiction historical book, “Island Beach – a Sonnet in the Sands.” Some of the photos took nearly a year to capture, and others had to be taken when the seasons were right. The book also had to go through editorial honing, and layout and design, and he had to write captions for the photos.
    He entered it in the contest because he wanted to see if it was worthy of recognition. It was: It won first place at the state and national level.

    Visit https://nfpw.org/professional-contest-2/ for contest rules and categories.

  • Monday, November 05, 2018 7:51 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The NDPC board is excited to announce our 2019 spring conference will be held Friday, March 29 at the Radisson Hotel in Bismarck! 

    ​We are looking forward to bringing the conference closer to our western North Dakota members, although we hope all of you will be able to join us, no matter where you live. 

    Our theme is keeping us focused on providing you with speakers who can help us create mindful messages for our various audiences. We want you to leave the event with fresh ideas for how to offer effective and insightful communications. We already have two speakers lined up, and we'll be sharing with you who those speakers are in the coming weeks. 

    We'll recognize members and the 2019 NDPC Communications Contest award winners on Thursday, March 28 during the banquet. 

    ​If you’d like to register now, the early bird rate for members is $75 and is good until Dec. 14. Register online now. Non-members can attend for $125 (or join NDPC at the state level and register for the conference at the member rate). You can book a hotel room online at the conference rate of $95 using the code PSCS19 or call 800-333-3333.

    We look forward to seeing you in March in Bismarck!

    - Danielle Teigen, NDPC President


  • Tuesday, June 19, 2018 7:45 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    When we were children, summer meant enjoying freedom from school schedules, soaking up every ray of sunshine possible, and enjoying ice cream treats in the heat of the day.

    As professionals, we’re expected to continue toiling away like business as usual (pun intended). Just because you don’t get to take a 3-month hiatus from your job doesn’t mean you can’t put the summer to work for you.

    Here are four ideas for how you can maximize summer and supercharge your career:

    1. Volunteer. Giving back to people is an immediate mood booster, but you can also search for opportunities that match your professional skills with your altruistic instincts. Great at coaching public speakers? Volunteer at a non-profit that specializes in preparing people for interviews. You’ll get to help people as well as put your knowledge to good use.
    2. Network. Golf is not a game for everyone, but the summer offers too many opportunities to participate in golfing events not to at least take advantage of one. Your putting skills may be lacking, but you can put your networking skills to good use by meeting new people. Even if you don’t make immediate business contacts, you’ll at least get a good dose of Vitamin D.
    3. Put technical skills to work. People plan a ton of events for the summer, especially around here because beautiful summer weather is fleeting. Offer your design or photography skills to a family member or friend hosting an event so you can keep your skills sharp. Plus, it could lead to paying work later. If nothing else, you’ll have additional material for your portfolio of work.
    4. Plan playtime. Everyone wants to take vacation at some point during the summer. You can be especially on your game by coordinating with your supervisor to ensure your team can continue operating at its maximum by not leaving the country for two weeks at the same time your boss does. Your thoughtfulness will also endear you to those who look up to you for guidance.  ​

    - Danielle Teigen, NDPC President
  • Monday, June 04, 2018 6:43 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As communicators and marketers, we all know we need content. But how do you break through the clutter and truly capture attention?

    Traditionally, many content creators have relied on partnerships and constituents to share their content, but these methods aren’t always reliable. To take back control, Corey Perlman provides the following tips:

    • Look beyond the surface on social media channels. For example, take advantage of Facebook groups. You can bypass challenges with traditional engagement by using this powerful aspect of the platform.  
    • Find “social media ready” followers. Do you have fans of your brand or organization with a wide sphere of influence? Tap into their audiences. Tag people and businesses in photos, and make sure to use their hashtags.
    • Take advantage of newsjacking. When you can react to breaking news very quickly with credible backup content, your audience (and the media) will pay attention.
    • Personalize your brand. Use your content to answer simple, frequently asked questions to simplify complex topics related to your company’s products and services.
    • Meta data matters. If your content lives on a website and you expect it to be found by search engines, make sure you are using proper meta data, including title tags and meta descriptions.
    The bottom line? Your content is a powerful resource, but it shouldn’t be used to directly “sell.” Whether you’re promoting a product or gathering support for your organization’s mission, use your content to educate, and seek to be a resource for your audiences. Take advantage of testimonials and case studies. The rest will follow.  
  • Tuesday, May 08, 2018 9:37 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Content marketing is all the rage in the marketing world lately. We create and create and create … and no one pays attention. What gives?

    For Ben Sailer, blog editor at CoSchedule, it’s not about just creating great content. It’s about creating comprehensive content. ”Comprehensive content give your audience all the information they’re looking for in one place,” says Sailer.

    But how do you do this? Enter the CRAP model (seriously, stick with us).

    C – Complete

    Comprehensive content has to be complete. It must include information and resources none of your competition can match. This may include videos, images or extra free resources. It also means taking a look at what is missing from the existing content on the web.

    Sailer encourages use of the Skyscraper method. Look at the top 10 search results for a given keyword or topic you want to rank for. Then find a way to make it something 10 times better.

    R – Research Backed

    Comprehensive content does your audience’s work for them. It gives all the background and goes beyond Google to do the research. Further, it doesn’t rely on assumption, but is instead backed by data and insight.

    A – Actionable
    Comprehensive content allows you to show your audience how to do something, not just tell them. Actionable content could include an instructional video, a step-by-step guide, a link to additional content on your site or a downloadable user’s guide.

    Further, think about how these action steps can help drive conversion. Tell your audience clearly what your product does and how it can help them to act. Give your audience all the information they need so they don’t have to leave to get the information somewhere else.

    P – Performance Driven
    Comprehensive content needs to be performance-driven.

    • Scope out competitor’s content with a high number of social shares
    • Use keyword search tools to gauge search interest (Keyword planner, Moz, etc.)
    • Listen to customer and audience feedback
    • Use Google Analytics to determine which content has performed well in the past
    • Check Google auto-complete suggestions
    • See if any related search suggestions appear for your perspective topic

    By following this method, organizations can work to create comprehensive, long-term content that gives their clients and prospects everything they need to know. Further, Sailer encourages organizations to use this model beyond content marketing. Can you apply this to your website? Can people get everything they need when they need it from your website? If not, how do you create a more comprehensive experience?

    Click here to see Ben's slide deck.


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