Are your political news releases from the radio era?

franklin-d-roosevelt-makes political news releaseWe have a message to get out to our voters.

Eighty year ago we would have written a news release then sent it out by teletype for two daily newspaper editions and lots of radio stations.

Thirty years ago we would have written a news release then sent it out by fax for morning newspapers, a local TV channels and some radio stations.

Fifteen years ago we would have written a news release then sent it out by email to the weekly paper, a regional TV station and few radio stations.

Today we write a news release then send it out by email to a couple of regional chain papers and local radio stations.  Then we take that news release and post it to the website. Then we share the news release on Facebook and Twitter, often without even changing the title. Sometimes we might even email it out to our supporters.

The future is amazing.

Technology has enabled us to spend more time duplicating the work of publishing a news release in a format that hasn’t changed much since the Radio Era.

This strikes me as backwards.

Maybe we should stop writing a news release first. Maybe we should write out our message first, and then let technology do the formatting for us.

Or maybe I have gone crazy following to many politicians on Twitter.

If you think that’s the case, that news releases rock and I’m crazy, then don’t visit politicalcontent.mphost.ca.

Don’t use the Political Content Creator. It’s still in beta, so it won’t even save you that much time. Yes, it will auto crop your picture for the best sizes to share on Facebook, Twitter, and email, but really, who needs that.

But, if you are curious and want to see a really bad infographic, check out politicalcontent.mphost.ca

Excel At Work

Excel sheets can drive you crazyDo you share this pet peeve?

I go a little nuts when I have to prepare a large mailing list and a bunch of the names all start in lower case.

With the increase in online petitions and surveys the problem is only getting worse.

Nothing says form letter like “Dear brendan”, but can you think of anything more tedious than scrolling down an excel sheet fixing names?

So here is a short cut.

You can use the text formulas in Excel to find and replace the first letters of a name field with a capital letter, then recombine them into the proper names.

(Hit the picture to enlarge)

Save Those Names

You can grab a copy of the excel sheet I made here and use the formulas to clean your next mailing list.