We want people to understand what we do and how it is relevant for their lives. This isn’t easy: We provide resources for many topics and our impact is challenging to summarize. Here are some tips when writing for county pages:

Make it easy to read

  • Read the text out loud. Are there sentences where you need to slow down? Is the sentence long? Try breaking the information up into smaller sentences. Consider removing some information.
  • Write for a general audience. The target audience for county landing pages is the general public. Aim for an eighth-grade reading level. Use terms that are general and understandable for people unfamiliar with OSU Extension. Avoid using program names and internal jargon when possible.
  • Write directly to the reader: Whenever possible use ‘you’. We serve you. Avoid ‘clientele’, ‘customers’, and ‘audience’.
  • More tips: See writing for the web.
  • Helpful tools:
    • Hemingway Editor: Estimates the reading level. Highlights text that is hard to read. Is free. See how to use Hemingway Editor.
    • Jargon tool: A very easy way to see what words are jargon. Rates how well the words are known.

How the design can help

The county page design has places to share different parts of our story:

County landing page

Intro text
Make OSU Extension relevant to the general public. Show why they should care, by helping them understand what we do — and how it affects their lives. Keep it brief.

We recommend including:

  • How we help Oregonians
  • It is affordable to learn with us (often no cost)
  • How they can learn with us (classes, tours, etc.)

We don’t recommend including:

  • Information about how we work: our program names, about trained-volunteers, community partners, etc. This comes later.

Note: The “what we do” section provides some concrete examples of information that can be learned about in this county.

Intro example:

The Benton County Extension Service helps you solve problems, develop life skills and manage your resources.

We share reliable, research-based education. Access is affordable, often offered at no-cost: Talk one-on-one with an expert. Attend a demonstration, tour, short courses, youth development club or activity. Read our publications.

County landing page example, see Hood River.

‘What we do’ page

Intro
We recommend including:

  • More details on how we help Oregonians
  • How we provide our services: through our faculty, staff, trained volunteers and community partners

We don’t recommend including:

  • Our program names.

Note: The “what we do” section provides some concrete examples of information that can be learned about in this county. About section can be a great place to include impact information, this displays further down on the page.

‘What we do‘ intro example:

Extension faculty, staff, and trained volunteers work alongside partners across Deschutes County to provide educational workshops, activities and services tailored to the unique industries, natural resources, and demographics in our communities.

Oregon State University’s land grant mission drives us to conduct research and share research-based education to minimize community risk, improve economic vitality, and promote personal and environmental health.

‘What we do’ page example: Union

Focus area page

Titles
Create concise, easy to understand titles.

  • Is the title is getting too complicated? Perhaps there are too many topics contained within one focus area. Try breaking it into multiple focus areas.
  • Is the title too long? Try removing some of the information or adding it to the description.

Title example:

  • Livestock
  • Food preservation and safety
  • Small Farms
  • Field crops
  • Nutrition and healthy living

Description
Briefly outline the benefits. The description text shows on the “What we do page”.

Example title and description:

Activities for youth: 4-H empowers young people with hands-on learning experiences to help them grow and thrive. By creating a safe and welcoming environment, young people develop the skills needed to make a positive impact on the world around them.

Home garden and landscape: We provide research-based information for backyard gardeners and green industry professionals, including regional specific information.

Working together on county pages

We will be collaborating with each county on developing their county pages. This will include optimizing the use of the website’s design, refining landing pages and creating focus areas.

Website updates

  • Checkout the updates to the statewide 4-H including user-friendly menu and the great way they are using the website’s designs! Nice work!
  • There is a new youth development topic page. It is ready for programs and focus areas to add this topic tag to your content. Educational content for the public can show on this topic page.
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