If one of your business goals for 2020 is to write more for and about your business -- perhaps through blog posts and LinkedIn articles -- you might be searching for inspiration or fearing the dreaded writer's block.
Have no fears. Your goal is a good one. You know that to grow your business, you need to do a little of your own PR, and writing that shows off your subject matter expertise, generates awareness about your company and builds credibility is a great place to start. Now to make sure your year -- or decade if you want to be really ambitious -- gets off to a strong start, here are four places to get ideas for what to write about.
1. Read your LinkedIn feed.
Log into LinkedIn to see what other professionals, including those in your industry, are reading, posting and writing about. You might want to expand on certain articles you read on LinkedIn or maybe cite them as sources that prove the points you make in your own writing.
You can also post comments or questions to gain further insight and inform what you plan to write. Plus, that's just what you do on social media.
2. Set up Google news alerts for your key words.
Think of the topics you want to write about and then head over to Google to set up news alerts on those topics. That way when there's news related to your topics, you know about it right away and can respond with a timely and newsy article or blog post.
I have news alerts set up for terms, including "public relations," that relate to my work and my clients' work. When it comes to my clients, I let them know when there is an article that they should socialize on their social media, an issue in the news that they should prepare for or a hot topic that they should write about.
3. Keep up with 'Help A Reporter Out.'
HARO, which stands for Help A Reporter Out, is a service by PR services company Cision that allows reporters to query for feedback and subject matter experts for stories they are working on.
Anyone can sign up to receive daily emails with reporter inquiries, and late last year I wrote a column about how to respond to HARO queries. But even if you never respond to a HARO query, you can see what topics journalists are writing about that has to do with your business and your work -- and write about it yourself or add it to your editorial calendar to cover in future articles.
4. Take note of the questions clients ask.
Clients can provide tons of inspiration. So when a client or prospect asks a question, take note and understand they are giving you the gift of a topic to write about that will help you connect with a wider audience.
After all, it's easy to take for granted what you know that others don't. I'm reminded of this whenever someone asks what public relations is or if someone I'm speaking with lumps PR with advertising. The question becomes not "what can or should I write about? but "where do I even begin?" Likewise, your clients might inadvertently provide you with not just one story idea but many.