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The News Chair

Prepare to Clear Up the Content


The average adult’s attention span is now just eight seconds … which is down from 12 seconds in 2000. An interesting twist? That’s less than the average attention span of a goldfish, which is nine seconds, according to Statistic Brain.


Tiffany Whisner

Tiffany Whisner

And while you may think you are multi-tasking, you probably really aren’t. As noted in Entrepreneur Magazine, “Psychology Today” reports only two percent of people are actually good at multi-tasking. The rest of us are just scanning and browsing.


That means we need to make the content we deliver to clients and consumers more scannable and easier to digest.


Making content snackable

So what is snackable content? Kevin Dugan says, “Content is snackable when it is designed for simple and flexible audience consumption.”


While valuable content is a must, there are other elements that make your audience more likely to consume your content, whether it’s a blog, news article or social media post.


  1. Tell a story worth sharing: Ensure useful, timely and engaging content is created for the target audience.
  2. Headline grabber: Best practices for headlines include a focus on lower word count, asking readers a question, using a colon in the headline and giving an odd-numbered list of tips on a topic.
  3. Visuals matter: We process visuals more quickly than text, and they help the content stand out, inviting more user engagement.
  4. Get a design: Bring your content to life, no matter the platform, by applying a mix of aesthetic and utility to attract readers and make it easy for them to browse.
  5. Make it flexible: Your content must be compatible and ready to be consumed across many platforms, including mobile and desktop devices.


Get your list ready

Whether you love them or hate them, list-format articles — listicles — seem here to stay. Rachel Edidin from Wired says while lists may be overused, they are really, really useful.


Do you know why? Here’s a list. Lists:

  • Curate. Lists give us focused tables of contents in a world with near-infinite information at hand.
  • Give us additional ways to interact with information. Lists let us process complicated information spatially and place digestible bites of information in the context of a larger whole.
  • Are jumping-on points. A list will skim the surface of a broader body of content, giving you a series of contact points from which to explore further in your own time.
  • Are ethically neutral. Lists are not rotting your brain or lowering the standards of journalism. They are just another tool in the toolbox.
  • Are not giving you ADHD. As Edidin says in her article, “Is ADHD just a word you throw around when you want to complain about how much better things were in the Grand Old Days?” While lists have been picked apart and attacked, they probably won’t go anywhere soon.


The basics are evolving

Sure, a compelling story with valuable content is still most important. But if your company or organization wants to continue to engage clients and customers, then you need to adapt to our modern world filled with information and distractions.


Want a fun and factual list for every second of the day? Check out BuzzFeed’s The ListiClock!


Then, contact the Coles team to take your content to the next level.


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Using Social Media to Consume News


How often are you skimming through Facebook, Twitter or another social media platform and find a link to a news story you find interesting? How frequently do you click on it and consume that information?


Christopher Lloyd

Christopher Lloyd

Go to socialize, stay to learn

The short answer for most people is: a lot. The average social media user, especially young adults, is encountering news in digital communities — even when they didn’t necessarily go there looking for it.


Whether stories are shared by one of your friends or those you are following, appear as a sponsored link or turn up in a comment thread, increasingly the serendipity of social media is leading people — especially younger folks in that ultra-desirable demographic — to become news consumers.


Numbers tell the tale

Consider these recent data points:

  • The Pew Research Center says Facebook users don’t go to the site looking for news, but often find it there anyway. About 78% encounter news links while visiting Facebook for other purposes. As a result, many adults 18 to 29 are seeing news they might not otherwise get.
  • Only a quarter of adults under age 30 say they enjoy following the news a lot — compared to 42% of those ages 39-49, 49% ages 50-64 and 58% of seniors 65 and up.
  • Millennials, often referred to as “digital natives,” cite social media as their largest source for news at 68%, according to Ypulse — higher than those who receive it through news websites (62%), TV (55%), radio (44%) or newspapers (33%).
  • Facebook is working harder to push news to its members, especially on mobile devices. In February, the company launched Paper, an iPhone app that makes it easy to review your news feed.
  • Facebook also added a trending section to the right side of the news feed. According to Justin Lafferty, users can click to see posts by friends, celebrities and public profiles on the trending topics.
  • Twitter is a smaller social network than Facebook, but it has a greater percentage of active news consumers. It has built a reputation as a service for breaking news. Amy-Mae Elliott notes in Mashable how many notable news stories have broken on Twitter.


Potential for customers

Needless to say, both traditional journalism outlets and smart companies look to these findings with tremendous interest.


Reporters and editors obviously want to draw eyeballs to consume the content they produce — usually selling advertising to pay for it, and/or putting the info you want behind a paywall.


For brands, it’s a trickier game. Many social media users get turned off by a brazen sell pitch. That’s part of the reason why more and more companies are turning to brand journalism to produce information that’s useful or interesting to their audience. They are finding out what customers are talking about and producing content to engage them.


Engagement + conversation

Looking to engage your social media visitors and then turn them into customers? The Coles team has the experience and tools to help you along the path from engagement to conversion!


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MHS Sponsors Project Home Indy Mother’s Day Brunch


Kelly Krauskopf, president and general manager of the WNBA Indiana Fever, will be the keynote speaker at Project Home Indy’s Mother’s Day Brunch. It is presented by community partner Managed Health Services (MHS).


The third annual Boutiques and Brunch Benefit takes place Sunday, May 4 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at The Crane Bay, 551 West Merrill St. in Indianapolis.


This fundraising event is meant to honor and pamper those special women in our lives — moms, grandmas, sisters, aunts and friends who are both mentors and role models.


Krauskopf, the Indiana Fever’s chief operating officer since the franchise was founded in 1999, was named general manager in 2004 and then team president in 2012, when the team won the WNBA championship. She has been a member of the committee to select the women’s roster for the Olympics since 2000 and was in the forefront of the development of the league.


FeverLogoIF YOU GO:

  • Boutiques and Brunch Benefit
  • For Project Home Indy
  • Sunday, May 4
  • 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • The Crane Bay, 551 West Merrill St., Indianapolis
  • Browse boutique booths with jewelry, clothing, accessories, novelty candy treats and more. Each boutique will donate 20% of sales to Project Home Indy.
  • Individual tickets are $45. This includes brunch, access to the boutiques as well as hear Krauskopf’s inspiring story.
  • To register: https://www.wedoauctions.net/phi


Project Home Indy serves homeless teen girls who are pregnant or parenting, focusing on education, life and job skills training and healthcare. This facility provides a safe, structured and supportive environment and helps residents learn to be self-sufficient heads of their own families.


MHS is a client for which the Coles team provides many services, including public relations, media relations and social media outreach. Coles also works with MHS on statewide advertising efforts, both traditional and digital, and develops a variety of creative projects, including branding and logo design, ad design and collateral print materials.


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