A career-changing moment or experience
Get the Story
For many speakers, devel- oping fresh content, themes and material is an ongoing process and a constant challenge. Social media brings more
pressure as our lives are unfolding in
real-time. The result: We need stronger
content, a timely topic, and an unyielding knowledge of our information.
Static websites with discounted prices
for your old cassette programs are unacceptable to the online community. Today,
our products are electronic: blogs, video
clips, online chats, e-books, e-newsletters,
Blog Talk Radio interviews, and more.
My turning point came two years
ago while talking about writer’s block
with a marketing speaker and colleague. It brought me back to 1984,
when I began my career in radio news
as an on-air anchor and news director. But I started as a street reporter,
covering local and county government
meetings and press conferences.
Day No. 3 in the newsroom: The news
director sent me off to my first assign-
ment. As I headed out the door, he barked,
“Don’t come back without a story!”
Every news reporter lives this same
mantra every single day. The rule is simple:
If the story isn’t obvious and hits you in
the face, you better start digging until you
find something relevant to bring back.
The events I covered were interesting, lively, and controversial. Returning to
the newsroom with a story was easy. But
surprisingly, it was the mundane “wake
me when it’s over meeting” that brought
The “Don’t come back without a story”
mandate forced me to hone my listening
skills. I had to pay attention in a deeper
and different way than I had in the past.
My goal was to uncover the news nugget
that my audience expected to hear.
This directive forced me to think
creatively and strategically, understanding there was also an art to this
work. Sound familiar?
My “Don’t come back without a story”
way of life meant there was no room for
writer’s block. I have found writer’s block
to be an excuse to procrastinate. If you
get stuck writing a keynote, article, or
blog post, it’s because your brain is dusty.
You haven’t been paying attention to the
gems and nuggets around you. My radar is
always on; is yours?
You may not be a news reporter, but
you can be life’s little observer. Carry your
electronic gadgets or journal everywhere
and jot down quotes and bits of life that
you stumble upon. Some of it will not be
useful; the rest will be priceless content.
Bob Burg, speaker and co-author of
The Go-Giver, recently told someone:
“Susan is one of today’s authorities who
really understands strong content and
social media. You know how to connect,
provide exceptional value, build credibility,
and cultivate relationships.”
Like me, you are surrounded by
remarkable people and funny stories
that can be tied back to your expertise.
Pay closer attention to breakfast chatter.
Eavesdrop on a conversation at the dry
cleaner. Listen to the chit-chat in the eleva-
tor. Be a ninja.
Susan Young, CEO of Get in Front Communications, is an award-winning news, PR, communications, and social media professional. She works
with speakers, authors, and business owners
who want to use social media to increase their
visibility, credibility and revenues. Young also
is the managing editor of HR