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Less than 8 seconds. That’s all the time you’ve got to engage a reader. If you were MacGyver, you’d only need a Swiss Army Knife, a Bic Pen, a stick of chewing gum, and a small piece of film to captivate an audience within that time-frame, but for the rest of us, we want to know exactly what tools work before the countdown begins so that what we create doesn’t blow up in our faces.


At Capture, I’m honored to write for many of our clients. With open rates measuring above industry averages (35 – 50%) for our client campaigns related to press releases, e-newsletters, and blog posts, we’ve seen common threads of effective, successful writing. Those commonalities boil down to some useful MacGyver-style writing tips, the bare essentials to explosive writing, and we wanted to share them with you because sharing is caring.


This probably isn’t new to you, but it’s a lesson worth reviewing because it’s so important! For me, if I’m writing about a topic I’m very passionate about, I tend to want to include Every. Single. Detail. While details are important, it’s even more important to write with a conscious focus on your overall objective. Here’s a simple way to do it. When you’ve completed your copy, re-read it and ask yourself this question: What do I want the reader to do? If the answer to that question isn’t as clear as a bell, you know you’ve got to go back and make some cuts.



Another important factor for being concise in your writing is to be sure that your very first line includes the most important information about your subject matter and that it’s as gripping and engaging as possible.


Your email subject lines are another key factor to consider when writing concisely as it’s the first thing your intended audience will see (and we know what they say about first impressions). The sweet spot for character count of effective subject lines is 65 characters. The good news? This is about 15 characters longer than the average email subject line. So, take your time and craft something intriguing and informative or funny. It will be worth the effort.


We’re very familiar with the old adage, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ . . . Because it’s true. Researchers found that colored visuals increase people’s willingness to read a piece of content by 80%. Don’t be afraid to break up your copy with images. In fact, I strongly encourage you to do it. Think of it as the bait that keeps folks reading.


Here’s a quick list of pointers to help you include the most powerful images within your work (this includes press releases):

  • Composition – Understand the basic photographic rule of thirds to create well balanced images that are more interesting and allow the viewer to interact with the image more naturally.
  • Color – You might think that the more vibrant the color is in a photo, the more attention it would garner, but less saturated images receive 18% more likes than their counterparts.
  • Background – While it’s always important to focus on your subject, tight close-ups can only tell so much of a story. Remember that when you give the viewer more of the background surrounding your subject, you are able to share more details about the overall story, making the image more powerful and interesting.


Jakob Nielsen’s seminal web usability study found that 79% of web users scan rather than read. Considering this fact, make it easy for your reader to scan the most important details with the use of sub headings. Breaking up large chunks of copy will always be a benefit, whether you do it with images, quote boxes, or sub heads. It makes your story more interesting and gives the impression, even if you have a lot to share, that it won’t take that much of the reader’s time to stick with you until the end.


Video is simply one of the most powerful tools you have to garner attention for any of your stories. So powerful that even the use of the word ‘video’ in an email subject line boosts open rates by 19%. Here’s the most important thing to remember when you include a video in an email, blog or press release: use a service tool that allows you to embed the video within the copy so it either plays automatically or the reader only has to press play as opposed to clicking a link to go to a new web page to then click play. The less work the viewer has to do, the more likely they are to follow through.




Keeping these bare essential tools in your writing grab-bag will definitely help you whether you’re under the gun or you’ve got all the time in the world. Either way, they’ll make your writing explosive and maybe, just maybe, you’ll even have fun in the process. Trust me, it’s a great feeling when you love doing what you do! It makes you feel as cool as MacGyver. Boom.


Social Media Rules


It’s a widely known fact that social media use has grown dramatically over the past 10 years, but did you know that more than 75% of all internet users utilize social media? Millennials and Gen Xers find most all of their news, current events and perform the majority of their communication within platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Add the further dwindling attention spans of folks in the world today and the fast-paced lives we lead and it quickly brings us to the conclusion that social media RULES.

That being said, what are the best marketing practices for each of the social platforms? How can we use it efficiently and effectively? We wanted to help with that, so we’ve developed a social media kingdom infographic, which includes the major social platforms, to use as quick reference to better understand the users and know the most successful post types for each platform. Enjoy!

Social Media Rules Infographic

If you have further questions about social media use and campaigns, please don’t hesitate to ask us. We love doing what we do, so we invite any and all opportunities to do more if it.

Stats source:

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I recently had the pleasure of attending the SportsBusiness Journal’s Game Changers conference in New York. This compelling, one-day conference focused on the multiple ways in which women intersect with sports – including the advancement of women among professional sports organizations, targeting strategies for female fans and the growing visibility of professional female athletes.


Left: Marieke Westerman, Vice President, Capture Marketing Right: Chellee Siewert, President, Capture Marketing

Importantly, Game Changers took the time to recognize the contributions of 35 phenomenal women that are truly making a difference in the ever-changing world of sports. This year’s honorees are spearheading key initiatives across the industry and paving the way for female executives in the years to come. Here’s the official conference photo of these incredible women.

Game Changers also gave a platform for women to share their personal experiences in the sports world in a variety of roles, including as an athlete, agent, executive and fan. Panelists and presenters discussed the past and current state for women in sports, and shared varying views on where we’re headed in the future.


Here are a few key highlights and takeaways that resonated most with me from all the amazing content that was shared:

  • “Women need to support women.” I found this compelling, particularly when considering leadership and mentoring within the sports industry.
  • “If it doesn’t affect what goes on when on the field, it’s forgiven.” This was a somewhat startling revelation shared by Rich Luker (Luker on Trends Powered by ESPN Sports Poll). Luker has researched whether the conduct of professional athletes (including domestic violence, drug and animal abuse, among others) has impacted fan loyalty of athletes and teams. He’s concluded that as long as an athlete performs on the field, their indiscretions off the field are quickly forgiven.

Key Highlights & Takeaways1

  • “Social media is the platform to tell our story.” It’s becoming increasingly important for athletes and organizations to go beyond the use of traditional media and embrace social media as the platform to communicate community and cause marketing initiatives. According to Jessica Berman, VP of Special Projects and Corporate Responsibility for the NHL, cause marketing provides a tremendous opportunity within leagues, teams and for individual players to do good while improving their brand image in the marketplace.
  • “There’s never been a conflict between being diverse and hiring the best person.” Through the evolution of the Rooney Rule, an NFL policy that requires league teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching and senior football operation jobs, there has been a slow but steady increase in the number of female and minority c-suite employees. The overwhelming theme of the conference was, “You cannot be successful in today’s business world without being diverse.”
  • “You are the sum of all your training.” Under Armour executive Adrienne Lofton shared a compelling video of Michael Phelps illustrating the countless hours of training he does day and night to prepare for the Olympics. This lesson of preparedness can and should also be applied to women in the workforce, both in sports and beyond. A shared sentiment among the female c-suite was to “be prepared when you walk in the room” and “make sure you always contribute in meetings and make your voice heard.”

I think we can all appreciate the strides we see when it comes to women in sports. In fact, according to Luker, the most stable and growing group of sports fans are female fans, and the most concerning group of fans are males from the ages of 12-17. For the first time in history, we are seeing the sports world in a state of challenge. We are not losing people or dollars, we are losing passion among young male fans. When we lose passion, we know dollars is next and sports teams and organizations should be paying closer attention to the purchasing power of this new segment of female fans.

Key Highlights & Takeaways2

Game Changers provided a unique and interesting forum to examine women in sports in today’s world. I was excited to be a part of the energy and enthusiasm that this conference offered, to learn about the challenges the sports market is facing and to network with female executives from the NFL, NBA, MLS, WWE and NHL, among others.

The Game Changers conference was packed with attendees at every stage of their career, and each participant had something to learn and offer to fellow attendees. I’m looking forward to following the continuing contributions of the event honorees along with many other successful women in attendance as they strive to secure the fate of females with a career in sports for generations to come.

Capture’s 5 Year Anniversary

Capture5YrToday marks the day that Capture celebrates five years of business. Five years of having the honor to serve amazing clients who value making positive impacts in the world. Five years of great memories. Five years of success.

These were five wonderful years and we’re looking forward to so many more. Thank you to our clients and everyone else who has shown support for Capture. We couldn’t do what we do without you . . . and we sure love what we do!