Communicate

line.

Any good writer will tell you that the difference between good and poor writing is about more than spelling, punctuation and grammar. Good writing must also be attuned to the needs and interests of its intended reader. With decades of experience reaching a wide variety of readers—from low literacy audiences to academics, and from average work-a-day folks to managers and government policy makers—K. K. Biersdorff Consulting has the skills to meet your writing or editing needs.

K. K. Biersdorff Consulting starts any new communication project by asking about the intended audience:

  • Who are the intended readers or audience?
  • What are their interests?
  • What are they concerned about?
  • What is the best way to reach them (e.g., report, newsletter, feature article, social media, website, speech or public presentation)?

Then come the questions about the key messages you and your organization want to get across. K. K. Biersdorff Consulting crafts the message to address the concerns and information needs of your audience. We support your message with an attractive and professional layout, so people want to get it. And, yes, it will have accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar.

  • Newsletters & Feature Articles
  • Manual & Report Production
  • Editing Others' Writing
  • Annual Reports for Non-Profits
  • Websites & Social Media
  • Event Planning
  • Media Releases
  • Presentation & Public Speaking Supports
  • Marketing Videos
  • Information & Marketing Brochures
Interview.

Newsletters & Feature Articles

You've got a story to tell about dedicated staff or volunteers, a community initiative or partnership, a special project or discovery. Now you need someone to convey your excitement. K. K. Biersdorff has written, designed and produced feature articles for websites and newsletters for internal and external audiences of a variety of organizations. We will interview key people or use notes from speeches, check facts and get consents for use of names and photos. K. K. Biersdorff Consulting will produce lively and engaging features or news articles that deliver your key messages to their intended audience—whether it be your staff, clients, customers, families, funders or community members. Examples include articles on

  • Turkish cultural experiences
  • benefits of family life for people with intellectual disabilities
  • L'Arche communities and their focus on relationships
  • a community partnership to build a house in Vermillion for people with disabilities
  • travel in France

K. K. Biersdorff Consulting has decades of experience in newsletter production for a variety of audiences. Typically working with small or "no" production budget, K. K. Biersdorff incorporates graphical elements and crisp photographs to balance the informational elements of features, news items and event notices. Examples of newsletters K. K. Biersdorff has produced include

  • Bright Ideas - quarterly value-added newsletter for our clients (2009 - present)
  • Leadership Today Newsletter - newsletter for members and interested parties (2006 - 2008)
  • AAMR-Alberta News - member newsletter (1997-2002)
  • Foundations: A Framework for Learning - inter-agency professional development newsletter (1998-2002)
  • VRRI Ventures - newsletter for external audiences of rehabilitation agency (1995-2000)
  • Management Team Bulletin - newsletter for staff of rehabilitation agency (1995-2000)
  • Windows and Doors - internal staff development newsletter for rehabilitation agency (1991-1998)
  • Sleep Apnea Society Newsletter - quarterly member newsletter (1989-1991)
Manuals.

Manual & Report Production

K. K. Biersdorff Consulting will work with your content specialists to take their ideas and turn them into inviting and informative prose. Or, we will provide the research to discover the state of the art, best practices and/or current law related to the subject, and write materials that meet your specifications. Examples include

  • staff and board orientation manuals for a small non-profit organization
  • new staff orientation materials (trainer and participant manuals, dynamic PowerPoint) for a government program
  • instructor manual for site surveyors and survey team leaders certifying disability services
  • instructor and student manuals for disability service professionals on supporting client choice and advocacy
  • instructor and student manuals for people with intellectual disabilities on making choices
  • a home safety assessment and training manual
  • performance appraisal guide for staff and management
  • government reports on housing, respite best practices and aging
  • test item bank for a Developmental Psychology text
Manuals.

Editing Others' Writing

K. K. Biersdorff Consulting can give a unified and coherent voice to books, manuals, reports and proposals drafted by committee members with diverse writing styles and skill levels. We will apply our keen eye for detail to ensure that font types and sizes are applied consistently and spacing and graphic elements are where they should be. Examples of our work include

  • Speak from the Heart - a commemorative book with contributions from over 25 individuals reflecting the history and accomplishments of the organization
  • a standards manual for evaluating the quality of disability services
  • a self-guided workbook for people with intellectual disabilities on quality of life
  • reports to government on staff turnover and service quality
  • grant proposals to the federal government and foundations.
Annual Report.

Annual Reports for Non-Profits

Unlike annual reports for corporations, annual reports for non-profit organizations focus less on financial reporting to investors and more on the organization's story. How has the organization made a difference in people's lives? What challenges have been faced and overcome? What makes the organization unique? What innovations have its staff developed?

Annual reports of non-profit organizations are not simply intended to inspire investor confidence, they are intended to inspire...period. An excellent annual report can be an effective tool for fund-raising, developing corporate partnerships, obtaining volunteers who are committed to your mission, and raising community awareness. K. K. Biersdorff Consulting understands the needs of the non-profit world and will work with your organization to identify the key messages you want to communicate to stakeholders with your annual report. These key messages will be woven throughout the report's information to create a cohesive image of your organization to be used for fund-raising and friend-raising. Examples of our work include

At the computer.

Websites & Social Media

  • Frustrated with websites that tells you about "upcoming" events that happened two years ago?
  • Confounded by sites that trap you in a page and won't let you out no matter how often you click on the "Back" icon?
  • Tired of web sites that take forever to load and even longer to get to the information you seek?
  • Anxious to get on the social media bandwagon, but anxious about how to do it or the time involved?

K. K. Biersdorff Consulting offers fast-loading and easy-to-navigate web design and upkeep. K. K. Biersdorff Consulting tests its web designs on Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Safari platforms, the browsers most likely to be used by the average web surfer today. Images are optimized for speedy loading. And information about upcoming events is flagged at our office for removal (or replacement by information about what happened at the event, if you prefer).

K. K. Biersdorff Consulting can also work with existing web site designs or with your designer to provide illuminating and inspiring content. Our recording facilities can also add audio to your website so visitors can hear what the text says.

We can also manage your social media strategy, so that social media works for you instead of you working for it.

Examples of our website work include

K. K. Biersdorff Consulting also participates in the following social media conversations:

Facebook link. Blog link. Twitter link. Linked In link. flickr. youTube.
Event planners.

Event Planning

K. K. Biersdorff Consulting can co-ordinate large or small special events from staff or customer appreciation parties to conferences, from annual general meetings to sporting events. We will work with volunteers from your organization to make and implement event plans, or just carry out the nuts and bolts of communication about the event.

Event co-ordination requires attention to the details and time lines that must be met for everything to come together on the event day. Making the right lists and tracking actions are a must. The event theme and colour(s) direct decisions about venue, decoration, catering, program and entertainment to communicate your key message to their intended audience. Examples of events K. K. Biersdorff has co-ordinated include

  • Annual Beaujolais Nouveau Party (1988-2009) - celebrating the first of the new wine from Burgundy for 15-40 attendees
  • Patching Descendant Family Reunion (2006) - two-day event
  • VRRI Annual General Meeting (1996)
  • VRRI 25th Anniversary "Opening Doors" Conference (1994) - 3-day convention for ~250 participants
  • University of Alberta Scottish Country Dance Society Banquet (1980) - ~200 attendees

Media Packages

Organizations rely on media (including social media)to inform the community about their organization and its activities. In turn, media rely on organizations to inform them about events of interest to the community. The key to success is developing news releases, public service announcements (PSAs) and media packages that highlight the newsworthiness of the event to your community. K. K. Biersdorff Consulting can develop news releases, backgrounders and PSAs that get media attention. Follow-up is part of our service, so you will have evidence of the outcome of our media communications efforts. Example of successful media packages K. K. Biersdorff has produced include

  • Junior National Judo Championships (1996) - news release; PSA; backgrounders on judo in Alberta and local athletes for newspapers in Calgary, Lethbridge, Red Deer and Edmonton; faxed results of day's matches

Invitations & Programmes

Invitations should not only provide the who, what, when and where of an event; they should motivate readers to make time in their busy schedule to attend. Invitations subtly convey information about the organization's values and creativity, in addition to information about the nature of the event (e.g., golf tournament, business meeting, celebration).

The theme and key messages established in the invitations should be continued in other communications related to the event, such as posters, flyers and event programmes. K. K. Biersdorff Consulting has extensive experience in developing clear and effective themed communications for all kinds of special events. Examples of event invitations and programmes K. K. Biersdorff has produced include

  • Leadership Today Annual General Meeting (2006-2008) - guest invitations, programs, displays
  • Annual Beaujolais Nouveau Party (since 1995) - Click here to see sample invitations
  • VRRI Celebrity-Corporate Challenge Pool Tournament (1997-1999) - invitations, posters, flyers
  • Junior National Judo Championships (1993 & 1996) - programme
  • VRRI 25th Anniversary "Opening Doors" Conference (1994) - programme
  • VRRI 25th Anniversary Gala (1994) - invitation and programme

Volunteer Co-ordination

Volunteer co-ordination goes beyond simply finding people who are willing to contribute their time to an event's success. It also involves training those volunteers to do their job at the event and put a positive public face on the organization. It means keeping volunteers happy and well-fed, arranging coverage for breaks, connecting regularly with those working alone (e.g., parking cars), and ensuring that volunteers feel their efforts on behalf of the organization are truly recognized and appreciated. K. K. Biersdorff has a long history of volunteering at events and understands the value that volunteers can provide to an organization. That's why K. K. Biersdorff Consulting goes the extra distance to make sure your volunteers don't let you down. An example of an event where K. K. Biersdorff has co-ordinated volunteers is the Junior National Judo Championships (1996), where she trained and co-ordinated more than 40 volunteers in hospitality room, timing and scorekeeping and other positions over 2 days.

Media writer.

Media Releases

Media releases are a tool that organizations can use to raise the visibility of the organization and its successes in the community—and they are an essential first step in controlling communications in the event of a perceived crisis or disaster. News releases let the media know about special events that the public may wish to attend. They also announce awards and achievements of the organization and its members, or scientific breakthroughs and technical or service innovations. Like social media in general, they can also be used to position an organization as having quotable expertise on a hot topic. Knowing what the media think the public is interested in makes the difference between positive press and no press for your organization. K. K. Biersdorff Consulting can help your organization develop greater media visibility through effective traditional and social media releases. Examples of media releases K. K. Biersdorff has produced include

  • Burç Intercultural Centre events (2008 - 2010)
  • Disabled seniors program must find new space (2004)
  • VRRI Celebrity Corporate Challenge Pool Tournament (1997-1999) - PSAs and/or news releases
  • Junior National Judo Championships (1996)
Meeting room.

Presentation & Public Speaking Supports.

K. K. Biersdorff Consulting can develop PowerPoint presentations with speaker notes and handouts, as desired, to support you and other members of your organization to provide consistent messages when giving multiple presentations. Examples include presentations on

  • how traffic noise is measured
  • outcomes of leadership training
  • long-term impact of road surfaces incorporating recycled tires on noise
  • representative conditions in assessing noise in rural areas
  • design of traffic noise barriers
  • calculating the contribution of moving sources to environmental noise
  • quality of life standards for services
  • a research funding body
  • self-employment for people with intellectual disabilities.
Photographer in Athens.

Marketing Videos

If a picture is worth a thousand words, just how much more is video worth? Video reaches audiences for whom the printed word has limited value and, let's face it, we all understand a product or service better when we can see it in action. K. K. Biersdorff Consulting offers video production services that can help people understand what you do and how it is unique. We can work with existing video, still photos and graphics, or use our own digital SLR and video camera equipment to gather new, dynamic material that will bring your message home to your key audiences. K. K. Biersdorff Consulting has applied the same computer-based technology we already use to provide audio for accessible websites to create or edit voice-overs for video. Footage is edited together using programs such as Windows Movie Maker, allowing you to incorporate video into your marketing presentations via computer or DVD technology. Examples of K. K. Biersdorff videography include Leadership Today: The Journey to Self-Advocacy (2006) and the video on this webpage.

PR materials.

Information & Marketing Brochures

Brochures need to give people the information they need in a very limited amount of space. A poorly designed marketing brochure tells potential customers either that you don't know what you're doing or that you don't know how to communicate—neither of which is a message you want to send. Information must be easy to understand, clearly organized and concise. Informational brochures are designed to give people the information they need to know in order to make good decisions. If intended for a professional audience, the language may include technical jargon. If intended for people in crisis, plain language is a must. K. K. Biersdorff Consulting will work with your organization to identify the target audience for the information and what needs to be communicated. In the case of informational brochures, K. K. Biersdorff Consulting can research and develop accurate content that meets your audience's needs. Examples of brochures K. K. Biersdorff has produced, in addition to the company brochure, include

  • Learn About PDD - plain language pamphlet on the Persons with Developmental Disabilities service system (2005)
  • Development Opportunities for Organizations, Professionals and People with Developmental Disabilities (VRRI Research) - brochure describing services (2002)
  • Learn About...How to Pick What to Do - information for people with intellectual disabilities on making choices (1999)
  • Learn About...How to Get Good Help to Pick What to Do - information for people with intellectual disabilities on making choices (1999)
  • VRRI Home Safety Assessment/Home Safety Guide - marketing brochures (1998)
  • The Vocational and Rehabilitation Research Institute - basic brochure (1997-2001)
  • Research Opportunities at the Vocational and Rehabilitation Research Institute - (1993/1996)
  • VRRI Research: Professional Development Workshops - annual brochure (1995-2001)
  • All About Sleep Apnea - Sleep Apnea Society of Alberta (1991)