Tying into OPN (Other People’s News) is the theme of this week’s Say It For You blog posts. As blog content writers, of course, we can always use new ideas for presenting information to readers about our company, our practice, or our industry.
Reading the daily newspaper, I teach, is just one of many strategies for blog content development. Both news and feature items can spark ideas for blog posts, while positioning your blog as the place to find interesting and valuable information. You may actually cite material from the newspaper story, relating it to new developments in your own industry, or simply use the articles as “triggers” that remind you of areas you might not have covered thoroughly in prior blog posts.
In the particular issue of the Indianapolis Star I used for this week’s blogwriting exercise, “Family ties to Panama Canal history” tells the story of Carmel, Indiana residents John Hawks and son Frank Hawks, descendants of John Frank Stevens, a chief engineer of the Panama Canal. The story chronicles the royal reception the Hawks were given when they visited Panama this past August.
As a Star reader, I loved the way reporter Michael Auslen connected the present-day Hoosier family to the milestone engineering project from the past. As a corporate blogging trainer, I couldn’t help thinking that any business can trace its connections to the history of its industry or profession.
Merely by gathering information on our topic and presenting it as part of our blog, we’re providing a valuable service, but to go the next step, we must ensure that each blog post connects the people running the business or practice to the people using the products and services. “Tracing the chain” by bringing readers back to the beginnings of the enterprise and sharing how someone’s idea turned into a business or professional reality makes for powerful blog content.
When we’re “stuck”, experiencing “blogger’s block”, Other People’s News can become just the nudge we need!