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December 23, 2020 5 mins

Plan for news hooks all year long

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:05):
Good morning. This is Laura. Welcome to the New Corner Office,
the podcast where we share strategies for thriving in the
new world of work, where location and hours are more
flexible than in the past. Today's tip is for thought
leaders and influencers think ahead. By planning in advance for

occasions you want to use as hooks for your content
or expertise, you can ensure that great opportunities don't sneak
up on you or pass you by. People who work
in magazine publishing and retail are accustomed to thinking a
season or more ahead while everyone else is wearing parkas

they are thinking about bathing suits. A great many years ago,
I did some short contracting stints at Reader's Digest. I
would occasionally get pitches for say, holiday content, in early November,
and while that seems early, in fact the December issue
was usually at the printer by November one and out

to subscribers by mid month. By late November, we were
mentally in March or April. Now a lot of this
is changing as more of publishing goes digital, but in general,
if you are in the business of ideas, it is
helpful to think ahead. And that's true even if you
have no interest in being covered by print magazines. If

you are a blogger, podcaster, or social media influencer, planning
ahead lets you capitalize on seasonal topics like decorating for
the holidays, daylight savings time, spring clothes, summer camp, back
to school. It is much easier to share your great
idea for Easter baskets if you start collecting items to

go in the basket and taking photos in February rather
than if you wake up the day before Easter and
decide to write a blog post about it. And of course,
even if you pull off the perfect Easter basket post
the day before Easter, it is less likely to benefit
your readers then if you had posted it early enough
that they could get the supplies to fill their own

Easter baskets. In the way you describe, planning ahead lets
you create great topical content and share it in time
to influence your audiences when you want to influence them.
So how do you train your brain to generate ideas
before occasions arrive? As with everything else, it helps to

get into a routine. Perhaps on the first work day
of each month, you think through special occasions that are
coming up in the next few months. In other words,
on January four, you think about what's coming up in February, March,
and April. Consider holidays like the big ones Valentine's Day, Easter,

and also the smaller ones like President's Day St. Patrick Stay.
Think about seasonal changes or events like the first day
of spring, the beginning of daylight, savings time, or spring break.
Be aware of anchors in the business year too, like
the end of each quarter and tax deadlines. Setting time
to think about the future will help you imagine content possibilities,

since you'll be thinking about some of the same upcoming
occasions year after year. You could even make a perpetual
calendar of occasions, not so much the specific date that
Thanksgiving falls in, but rather a list of the twelve
months and the significant holidays, seasonal changes, and anchors in
the business year that fall within each of the months.

You can use that as a tool for your brainstorming
on the first day of every month, as you generate
ideas for the next few months. I know that I
can write something about the time change every single year,
as long as I remember several weeks before it happens.
That is going to roll around. Of course, every year
also has its own special days too. A presidential election

day every four years or leap year are the opening
ceremony of the Summer and Winter Olympics. There are also
anniversaries of things, such as the day your school district
began remote learning. Your perpetual calendar won't necessarily always include
those dates, but as you think about things that are
coming up, you can write them down on your calendar
for the current year. Even with smart strategies for thinking ahead,

sometimes you will get a great idea a little late,
like an idea for a brilliant New Year's Day brunch
on New Year's Day. So instead of thinking of yourself
as a day late, consider yourself three d sixty four
days early for next year. Write your idea down somewhere
that you know you will see. You do have somewhere

you know you will see right your planner, your calendar,
So come next November you are ready to make that
New Year's Day brunch right up shine. Thinking ahead not
only helps with ideas, it also creates opportunities for efficiency.
When you plan your topics in advance, you can bat
to produce them. You know you'll be recording a handful

of podcasts on Christmas gift ideas, for instance, so you
can sit down and do them all at once. So
as you look ahead to a year of sharing great
content with your audiences, establish routines for thinking ahead so
you have plenty of lead time to make your ideas
happen in the meantime. This is Laura, thanks for listening,

and here's the sixth seeding in the New Corner Office.
The New Corner Office is a production of I Heart Radio.
For more podcasts, visit the I Heart Radio app, Apple Podcasts,
or wherever you get your favorite shows.
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