Theme of March 3 conference: turning readers into readership.

Do you think your readers have a short attention span? Many do. However, we have tools to turn readers into readership.

At ASBPE’s annual Western Winter Workshop, March 3 in Seattle, you’ll hear noted consultant Ann Wylie explain how to make your publications easier to read and understand.

Wylie will present two sessions, “Cut through the Clutter” and “Rev Up Readership.” Additionally, a luncheon panel of area journalists will discuss “The State of Business Publishing in the Pacific Northwest.” Panelists will be

  • John Wolcott, editor, Snohomish County Business Journal
  • Emory Thomas Jr., editor, Puget Sound Business Journal
  • Rob Smith, editor, Business Journal of Greater Portland

In addition, workshop sponsor Color Press will demonstrate its Manage Everything web-based content-management system.

Cut Through The Clutter

In this session, you’ll hear how to reduce the effort required to read your copy with a system for making your copy clearer and more concise.

You’ll learn:

  • How to edit by the numbers: How long should your paragraphs be? Your sentences? Your words?
  • Three ways to shorten your copy.
  • How to cut your copy before you’ve even written the first word.
  • About the “funnel system” that helps make the editing process more efficient and effective.
  • How to keep readers from tossing your copy without reading it.
  • Techniques for solving the “visual duration-sensing apparatus” problem.
  • An easy way to make your copy more conversational.
  • How to use the word-count function to make your copy easier to read.

The WWW in a Nutshell

What: Western Winter Workshop

When: Thursday, March 3, 8:30 a.m.–2:00 p.m.

Where: Red Lion Hotel, 1415 Fifth Avenue, downtown Seattle. Phone: (206) 971-8000.

Cost: $60 for ASBPE members and $75 for nonmembers.

To register or see the agenda: Download a registration form (356K PDF).

For more information: Please contact Warren Payne, Pacific Northwest chapter president at (253) 653-0522 or warren@paynespencer.com, or contact ASBPE at (630) 510-4588 or info@asbpe.org.

Rev Up Readership

In this session Wylie will examine how to use headlines, decks, subheads, captions, callouts, and other devices to pull readers, especially skimmers, into your copy.

You’ll learn:

  • A three-step system that encourages skimmers to spend more time with your material.
  • How to create a headline package that attracts attention and sells the story.
  • An emerging technique for creative headlines.
  • The formula your readers use to determine whether to read something.
  • How to determine when your headline is too long.
  • The presentation element that many communicators drop — and why to make sure you include it in every piece.
  • Three types of headline packages.
  • How to use a dollar bill to make your copy more reader friendly.
  • Headline foibles to avoid.
  • How to use layers of information to get the word out to nonreaders

About The Speaker

Before starting Wylie Communications, Ann Wylie was editor of Ingram’s, a nationally acclaimed executive magazine. During her tenure, Ingram’s editorial and design earned dozens of awards for excellence, and the magazine saw circulation increase by 35% and ad sales soar by one-third.

Wylie is also the author of more than a dozen learning tools that help people improve their communication skills. Her manual, Planning Powerful Publications, published by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), has been called “the Bible” of publication planning.

Her work has earned 40 communication awards, including a Women In Communications (WIC) Clarion and two IABC Gold Quills.

She holds an M.A. in journalism from the University of Kansas. In addition to her full-time work, she taught graduate writing courses at Webster University for more than a decade.

About the Panelists

Rob Smith photoRob Smith was born and grew up in Portland, graduated from the University of Oregon in 1985, earning a B.S. Degree in Political Science.

After a brief stint in Oregon politics, he moved to Seattle. There, he started career as a freelancer and eventually became executive editor of Seattle Times Community News Group, overseeing a chain of community newspapers.

Smith was hired by Puget Sound Business Journal in 1998 as Focus editor. He as managing editor there when he was named to the editor’s post at Portland Business Journal in November 2003.

Emory Thomas Jr. photoEmory Thomas Jr. is editor of the Puget Sound Business Journal, one of the largest publications in the American City Business Journals newspaper chain. As editor, he oversees all of the publication’s content, both printed and on the Internet.

Emory came to the Business Journal in June 2004 from the web site MSN Money, and prior to that, MSNBC, which he joined at its founding.

Emory is a former reporter with The Wall Street Journal, and he has won multiple national awards through his writing and editing. In 1992 and 1993, he won consecutive Gerald Loeb awards for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism, one of the profession’s highest honors. More recently, a series of articles he edited at MSN Money earned a Best in Business award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers for 2003.

John Wolcott photoJohn Wolcott has been editor of the Snohomish County Business Journal since it began in 1998, returning to The Herald in Everett to help create and launch the journal, which is direct-mailed monthly to 15,000 business owners and executives across Snohomish County.He was previously business editor of The Herald from 1968-1980.

A native of Michigan and graduate of Michigan State University, he came to the Pacific Northwest in 1962 courtesy of the USAF as information officer at Paine Field in south Everett when the air field was an F-102 fighter-interceptor base. After seven years, 1980-87, with the Snohomish County PUD in media relations he left for full-time freelance writing, with his wife, who is also a journalist and photographer. For 11 years, much of his freelance work was for the Puget Sound Business Journal, until 1998, when he was hired by The Herald to launch the Snohomish County Business Journal.

He and his wife, Roberta, live in Arlington, Wash. They have a son, daughter and three grandsons in Washington state.

About the Workshop Sponsor

The Western Winter Workshop is sponsored by Color Press logo

Color Press is a Walla Walla, Washington-based printer. Manage Everything (ME) is its web-based content management system. ME is designed to supply an efficient approach to content creation, editing and proofing. Editors, staff, and contributors can create and manage varied forms of content from multiple locations, and organize and manage workflow. The workflow interfaces with design and production processes to present the core content in printed and electronic formats simultaneously.

Danny Houghton, Color Press’ vice president for sales and resource development, will demonstrate Manage Everything during the conference.