But what changes does this bring? Well, whether you're creating an e-mail newsletter, writing a website or using an app to send messages, here are the three things you need to do to compete with paper - and the two big advantages of digital writing!
1. You need to grab readers' attentions more quickly:
People are far more likely to be less distracted working on a tablet or phone than reading a magazine or letter. So your subject lines (in an email) or headlines (on a webpage) need to be 'compelling teasers' that get people to read further. Questions ('want to know what your child did in school today?') and lists ('10 ways to save money during the summer holidays') are good ideas.
2. You have to stop readers being distracted more often:
There's always the next email or open tab in a web brower, so your content needs to offer something to the reader. E-mail service Constant Contact suggests making 80% of your content 'useful' - for a school this would means adding information about holiday opportunities for children, advice on safe internet use, local community links and examples from different year group to your routine notices and news.
3. You need what you write to work across different devices:
While you might think that you'd have more options with digital displays, adapting the way text flows on devices ranging in size from mobile phones to PC screens means that you are best keeping each story as a separate block of text and minimising use of columns and so on. It also means that you're far better off using HTML newsletters (essentially web pages) rather than Word or PDF documents, which also tend to be larger and more difficult to view on different devices.
4. You don't have stick to words and images...
The good news is that now you have a screen, not paper and can use a wider range of content to help engage readers. As well as colour pictures, think about using embedded videos - either full clips or taster 'gifs' - take a look at 'GifIt' which will turn your videos into great animations for example.
5. ...and you can see what works and use it to build relationships.
Most online content as well as downloadable files allows you to embed hyperlinks to external content or websites. If you use a service such as Constant Contact or MailChimp you can get immediate feedback on not just what has been clicked and when, but who has done so. This means you can measure the success of different messages as well as going back to people who were particularly interested in an article.