Aug
21
2014
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Web eBook Offers Great Tips

I’m happy to report that my new eBook is finished! The title is How to Create Websites for Smartphones, Tablets, Laptops and moreand it is available on Amazon.

Below is the introduction to the book. My intent is to share my knowledge with my community of fellow communicators, up-and-coming communicators and others who are communicating messages via the web. I hope that everyone finds a valuable tip that can aid them greatly in accomplishing their goals.

———–Introduction to How to Create Websites for Smartphones, Tablets, Laptops and more … ————–

This eBook contains my years of experience in applying the fundamental skills of writing and layout design to create websites for Smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktop computers and large plasma screens with touch-enabled capabilities.

As a professional communicator for 20 years, I’ve transitioned into various roles within my field of study many times over since I began my first job. I started in this industry as a print journalist and writer.

In college, I quickly learned how to incorporate computers into writing, editing and even laying out the weekly publication for which I worked as a student at Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. My experiences as a writer, and eventually editor-in-chief of the publication, exposed me to the nimbleness required to adapt to an ever-changing field that was being heavily impacted by computer technology. And, when I entered graduate school at Washington State University in 1992, even more advancements were taking shape through the use of the internet.

By the time I entered the real world of work in 1993 as a journalist, many of the nation’s top newspapers were using the same layout and design software that we used as college students. And, in a mere five years following, digital photography further impacted our industry, and we were still very unaware just how far the digital innovation would take our careers.

As I entered the field of nonprofit and corporate communications, for which my skills were transferable, the internet was slowly gaining momentum as a new tool for doing business. One of the first major projects I undertook in 1998, as a Business Development Coordinator, was to create the company’s website. I instinctively used my layout and design skills from the newspaper industry to create a professional website that provided an impressive view of the company’s qualifications and portfolio of work. The web was just beginning and little did we know that it would transform from just an online marketing brochure to a center of expertise for news, consumer products, videos, live chats, social media and so much more.

In 2002, when I accepted a position in communications for a major corporation, I had no idea that I would be as involved with the design, layout, content creation, maintenance and overall strategic direction of so many corporate websites. My career quickly blossomed from writing and creating marketing materials to developing strategic goals and communications campaigns for a large global website.

Today, my career has transformed once again, and I am the Supervisor of my company’s website design team where we are creating websites for laptops, desktops, Smartphones, tablets and large plasma screens with touch-enabled capabilities. And, who knows what lies ahead in my career transformation as it continues to be impacted by the ever-changing pace of technology.

Chapter One: Content Creation

Keep it simple

In the information age that we now live in, content is king. And, as content creators respond to the ever-changing world of how content is accessed, it is important that we remember … Read more

Written by Allyson Neal in: Uncategorized |
Oct
03
2013
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IABC Omaha: Here I Come!

I am very excited about my October 17, presentation at the IABC Omaha’s Communications Camp 2013. The Camp’s intent is to provide tools, insight and ideas to professional communicators so that they may enhance their communications efforts, plans and objectives.

My session will focus on strategies and plans that are needed to respond to the rapidly changing mobile device world. As mobile devices continue to permeate the workplace, communicators must develop strategies that make these devices effective tools for communications. One major strategy is to create websites that can be accessed via Smartphones and tablets, while still looking visually appealing and providing a great user experience. There are several ways to accomplish this, and the path to doing so may sometimes become overwhelming.

I’ll share some case studies, best practices and lessons learned that may assist others in making the right choice. I look forward to spending time with my fellow IABC members in Omaha in a few weeks. And, I’m enthused about the new opinions, conversations and experiences that will evolve from our interaction.

Written by Allyson Neal in: Uncategorized |
Jul
29
2013
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Melcrum Feature

A few weeks ago, I participated in a round table discussion with fellow corporate communicators to discuss lessons learned in mobilizing intranet websites. The discussion was extremely informative and reassuring to speak with others who are embarking upon this gargantuan task.

As an added bonus, Melcrum featured a blog post that I shared summing up my presentation at the IABC World Conference last month. Let’s continue the discussion as we all evolve and learn from one another. Enjoy! Melcrum Blog

Written by Allyson Neal in: Uncategorized |
Jul
19
2013
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IABC World Conference a Success

My session at the IABC World Conference about mobile websites for Smartphones, tablets and touch screens was extremely well-attended. Close to 200 conference attendees were present and the dialogue was extremely robust. I shared insightful strategies such as:

• how to use analytics to create a mobile website layout
• how to use media queries, style sheets and include files to accommodate mobile browsing of intranet websites and
• how to design desktop websites with mobile in mind

Overall, the feedback, from the session’s attendees, was extremely positive and a LinkedIn discussion group was created following the conference to keep the conversation going. The session also provided me with insight regarding other companies’ efforts, challenges and successes as they too delve into mobile website communications.

The biggest lesson that I learned from this year’s IABC World Conference, as both a speaker and an attendee, is that the conversation regarding ground-breaking communications tools and technology has to continue. As technology moves, develops and reinvents itself so rapidly, it’s critical that we remain in communication with each other as communications professionals to remain abreast of the trends, challenges and best practices.

I look forward with great anticipation to continuing and possibly leading these discussions as technology evolves. And, I hope that others join me. Follow me on Twitter or connect with me via LinkedIn.

Written by Allyson Neal in: Uncategorized |
May
03
2013
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New eBook Finished!

I’m happy to report that my new eBook is finished! The title is How to Create Websites for Smartphones, Tablets, Laptops and more, and it is available on Amazon.

Below is the introduction to the book. My intent is to share my knowledge with my community of fellow communicators, up-and-coming communicators and others who are communicating messages via the web. I hope that everyone finds a valuable tip that can aid them greatly in accomplishing their goals.

———–Introduction to How to Create Websites for Smartphones, Tablets, Laptops and more … ————–

This eBook contains my years of experience in applying the fundamental skills of writing and layout design to create websites for Smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktop computers and large plasma screens with touch-enabled capabilities.

As a professional communicator for 20 years, I’ve transitioned into various roles within my field of study many times over since I began my first job. I started in this industry as a print journalist and writer.

In college, I quickly learned how to incorporate computers into writing, editing and even laying out the weekly publication for which I worked as a student at Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. My experiences as a writer, and eventually editor-in-chief of the publication, exposed me to the nimbleness required to adapt to an ever-changing field that was being heavily impacted by computer technology. And, when I entered graduate school at Washington State University in 1992, even more advancements were taking shape through the use of the internet.

By the time I entered the real world of work in 1993 as a journalist, many of the nation’s top newspapers were using the same layout and design software that we used as college students. And, in a mere five years following, digital photography further impacted our industry, and we were still very unaware just how far the digital innovation would take our careers.

As I entered the field of nonprofit and corporate communications, for which my skills were transferable, the internet was slowly gaining momentum as a new tool for doing business. One of the first major projects I undertook in 1998, as a Business Development Coordinator, was to create the company’s website. I instinctively used my layout and design skills from the newspaper industry to create a professional website that provided an impressive view of the company’s qualifications and portfolio of work. The web was just beginning and little did we know that it would transform from just an online marketing brochure to a center of expertise for news, consumer products, videos, live chats, social media and so much more.

In 2002, when I accepted a position in communications for a major corporation, I had no idea that I would be as involved with the design, layout, content creation, maintenance and overall strategic direction of so many corporate websites. My career quickly blossomed from writing and creating marketing materials to developing strategic goals and communications campaigns for a large global website.

Today, my career has transformed once again, and I am the Supervisor of my company’s website design team where we are creating websites for laptops, desktops, Smartphones, tablets and large plasma screens with touch-enabled capabilities. And, who knows what lies ahead in my career transformation as it continues to be impacted by the ever-changing pace of technology.

Chapter One: Content Creation

Keep it simple

In the information age that we now live in, content is king. And, as content creators respond to the ever-changing world of how content is accessed, it is important that we remember … Read more

Written by Allyson Neal in: Uncategorized |
Apr
16
2013
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eBook on Content Strategies

I am very happy to announce that I’m creating an eBook about how to repurpose content for websites on mobile phones, tablets and more. In this fast-paced digital age, repurposing content can save website owners lots of time, energy and money. Using existing content from an already successful website to create an innovative mobile or tablet website is a great strategy.

My eBook will cover the basics of creating content, and it will highlight some useful strategies for using content in various formats. I hope that communicators around the world find this information to be helpful, useful and most importantly valuable for their work.

The book will be available on the Amazon Kindle in mid-May. More to come …

Written by Allyson Neal in: Uncategorized |
Oct
11
2012
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NOLA Bound: The Movie

This weekend, NOLA Bound: The Movie will premiere at the Joy Theater in New Orleans. I’m happy to have been a part of this film that highlights New Orleans’ innovative business industry and its tireless efforts to establish itself as world class.

My hope is that viewers will see New Orleans in an entirely different light. Many visitors come to New Orleans seeking a party, but hopefully, this film will show them that there is so much more to New Orleans beyond Bourbon Street. We have smart and intelligent people working together to elevate New Orleans to an entirely different level. And, I hope that viewers experience these efforts in this film.

I thank everyone who had a role in bringing the NOLA Bound participants together to experience the “new” New Orleans and to create, what I hope will be, an award-winning film. Enjoy it! http://www.benolabound.com/trailers

Written by Allyson Neal in: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,
Feb
16
2012
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New Orleans’ Innovation

I’m elated to announce that I was recently selected to participate in a project to promote my hometown, New Orleans, as a center of innovation (http://www.benolabound.com/). Since Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans’ doors have been opened wide allowing citizens from around the world to witness our struggles, challenges and pain. Most recently, New Orleans has developed a reputation for its high crime rate, which is claiming the lives of its young African American males.

To be a part of this project to re-shape New Orleans’ image is a great opportunity. As an author of books about New Orleans and a professional communicator in the digital media industry, I am an advocate of promoting all of the positive aspects of life in our City. Additionally, I believe that by highlighting New Orleans’ groundbreaking success in attracting innovative startup companies, we can not only re-shape the City’s image, but we can bring about fundamental changes.

New Orleans has been in need of economic diversification since the 1980s when the oil bust ravaged our City’s economy and left us with only one industry to lean on for support. And, while tourism is New Orleans’ greatest strength, the industry offers limited opportunities for career growth and personal economic prosperity. For centuries in New Orleans, the working poor have struggled with the lack of opportunities to advance themselves above the poverty line. And, as a result, many of New Orleans’ brightest and talented individuals, including myself, have left the City for better careers that provide fulfillment, compensation and recognition.

The beNOLAbound project is a promising start for talented people from all over the world to see New Orleans’ value beyond Bourbon Street. It’s also an opportunity to attract more innovative companies that can partner with our communities in their struggles to eradicate poverty, reduce crime and offer career opportunities that can provide a better standard of living for many of New Orleans residents. By building an industry that can diversify New Orleans’ business sector, bright and talented individuals of the future may not have to leave New Orleans to obtain a fulfilling career.

To learn more about the project, visit http://www.benolabound.com/.

Written by Allyson Neal in: Uncategorized |
Nov
28
2011
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Mobile Website Options

As web owners explore transforming desktop websites into mobile websites, there are two main options that must be considered:        

  • Option One: create a mobile site that highlights the most used portions of your website for easy access to tools, processes and services.
  • Option Two: use a mobile website generator that scans your full desktop website and truncates it for mobile browsing.

The main difference between Option One and Option Two is that the first option offers selected content from your full website, while the second option offers your entire site in a mobile format. Examples of both options applied include the following (note: for the mobile experience, view these links from a mobile device):

You will note that the first example provides users with a single column of links to choose from that include selecting preferred locations, following the company using Social Media and obtaining critical information. The second example also provides a single column format with quick access to the company’s services, work samples and key contact persons. Both options provide an enhanced experience for users browsing these websites using a mobile device. Additionally, the use of the single column eliminates the need to perform excessive scrolling, touch manipulation and reduces load times.

The decision to proceed with designing a mobile site using Option One or Option Two depends on your needs, goals and users preferences. If you’re an enterprise that would like to present users with selected content from your website in a mobile setting, then Option One is for you. If you’re an enterprise that would like users to access all of your web information in a mobile setting, then Option Two is for you.

So, if you’re at the stage where you’re ready to begin your design, consider your options and choose them wisely.

Allyson Neal is experienced in developing strategic communication plans that integrate video, the web, print and face-to-face engagement to align with corporate goals and objectives. Her areas of expertise include developing communication for global audiences for websites, email announcements, presentations and other communication mediums.  As a web supervisor for Chevron’s Business and Real Estate Services division, she leads a team of 12 employees and contractors in the development and technical support of Chevron websites worldwide.  

Written by Allyson Neal in: Internal Web, iPad, iPhone, Mobile Web, Usability |
Oct
25
2011
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We Won a Silver Quill

The Web Team that I lead was honored Thursday, October 13, by the First Coast Chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators at the 2011 Southern Region Silver Quill Awards luncheon held in New Orleans, Louisiana. Chevron’s Business and Real Estate Services’ Web Team received the Award of Merit in Electronic and Digital Communication award for their redesign and promotion of the new CBRES Home Page. I had the honor of working with a great team of professionals on this project. They are: Everton Cunningham, Joe O’Bryant and Evelyn Crowe.

Silver Quill is IABC Southern Region’s annual competition for communication professionals, with entries judged in 27 categories recognizing excellence in publications, communication campaigns, electronic and digital communications, graphic design and other communication projects. The competition is open to IABC members and non-members. Winners were chosen by a jury of peers, including IABC members who are former Silver Quill award winners, Accredited Business Communicators (ABC) and senior-level professionals from across the country.

Adrian Cropley, ABC, IABC International Chair, praised this year’s winners for their dedication in raising the value of our profession, by sharing their excellent practices through the awards process. In winning a Silver Quill they also strengthen their personal brand and the brand of the organization they work for.

At the 2011 Silver Quill Awards event, IABC First Coast announced 39 Awards of Excellence and 45 Award of Merit recipients.  A complete list of all Silver Quill Award recipients is available on the Southern Region conference website: http://2011.iabcsoreg.com/southern-region-silver-quill/.

About IABC First Coast:
With nearly 80 members, IABC First Coast is part of a global network of communications professionals. Their mission is to help professional communicators succeed in their chosen field by providing lifelong learning, local and global resources and networking, and to increase the understanding of business communications as a valuable profession in the Northeast Florida community. IABC First Coast offers a range of local services, including professional development meetings and workshops, member communications, local networking with peers, and hosting Silver Quill Awards programs. For more information, visit www.iabcfirstcoast.com

Written by Allyson Neal in: Internal Web, Usability |