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Lisette Hilton

Lisette Hilton

This blog is a forum for discussion about several types of writing, including reporting, content writing, marketing copy or blogging. My aim is to offer readers ideas, insight and provoke thinking about issues and trends as they pertain to one of these writing categories. I’m Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive. I’ve been a writer and reporter for more than 20 years. I’ll share some of what I’ve learned from communication experts and as a reporter. I also hope to learn from you. So, be sure to chime in.

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Friday, 28 January 2011 12:26

The Power of Social Media

Years ago, networking meant having a Roladex. If you were lucky, you'd have 100 or so strong contacts. Today, with a combined traditional networking and social media approach, you might still have those strong contacts, along with hundreds or thousands of virtual contacts. Accessing social media via Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc., is amazingly powerful. I've watched my college-aged daughter amass 40,000 viewers on a relatively unknown online show. She Tweets, blogs and Facebooks about upcoming showtimes and guests. Her guests, who tend to be savvy social media users, do the same. Before you know it, she has done for free what people in the past would pay thousands of advertising dollars to achieve. I'm learning from her that it's all about followers, links, contacts. The possibilities are endless, virtually. The message here... there's no escaping the need to get onboard.    

Wednesday, 29 December 2010 15:09

Let's get real (in our writing)

Earning the trust of readers happens in the first few sentences--whether writing an article, content, or blog. I've learned that writing that earns the most positive attention doesn't make flowery claims; educates, rather than sells; and exposes truths or imperfections.


I saw this article in the New York Times. I’ve always respected the newspaper’s science writers and think this is a great article.


But how did we get here from there? You know…. There was a time when hormone replacement therapy was the mother of all interventions. It kept us from menopausal symptoms and kept us young and healthy. Wrong. Now we know better.


Women, especially, were warned that if they didn’t take extra calcium, they could break. Then, there was the news about vitamin D. Almost every media outlet reported on studies that have since been proved to be flawed.


Is it that we’re so hungry for news and advice that there’s some sort of snowball effect? It starts with some research that sounds good and turns into the truth? Who is to blame for this bad advice? How can we become better at understanding that all research is just part of a very big picture?

Tuesday, 30 November 2010 20:00

Is old-fashioned news reporting dying?

I’ve wondered in the last few years if old-fashioned news reporting is dying. It seems as if it is not so much reporting nowadays, but rather content generation. There’s more news but less depth. A report by Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, called State of the News Media 2010, claims: “The notion that the news media are shrinking is mistaken. Reportorial journalism is getting smaller, but the commentary and discussion aspect of media, which adds analysis, passion and agenda shaping, is growing — in cable, radio, social media, blogs and elsewhere.” Will this usher more opinion and less fact? The trend piece in the report, goes on to say: “… the rising numbers in polling data that show 72% of Americans feel now most news sources are biased in their coverage and 70% feel overwhelmed rather than informed by the amount of news and information they see.”

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