My latest piece for the Toronto chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators discusses hyperlinking as it relates to ethics in professional communications as well as ensuring the best possible experience for the reader.
This particular topic came to my attention when I noticed that far too many press releases, blog posts, and official statements are reluctant to link to outside or additional sources. In many cases, this leaves certain claims unsubstantiated and also leaves the reader without context. Linking is a vital tool, I argue, in providing a richer experience for the reader as well as ensuring that your claims are well supported.
Below is an excerpt. You can read the entire piece here.
Hyperlinking is far from trivial. As a reader, I’ve come across far too many press releases and blog posts that make claims without backing them up and point to broader issues without providing context.
The academic in me, who both as a student and teacher preached and was preached to about “showing your work,” finds this frustrating. In carrying out online communications, the practice of hyperlinking is imperative as both an ethical matter and for ensuring a richer experience for readers.
Where blogging and press releases are concerned, different types of organizations are attempting to persuade readers of something, perhaps to donate, to buy, to come on board a certain campaign, or simply to agree with a particular narrative. Communicators working on behalf of politicians do this constantly. Similarly, non-profits must convince the public that their cause is worth supporting.