Old Dogs. Old Tricks.

Here’s a blogging tactic you may want to adopt one day — add on to someone else’s topic.  This post is a real example of how it works.

Greg Satel’s post on October 9 is on “learning tips from the media pros.”  Read it.  It’s great.  So great, in fact, that I’m abandoning my original idea for this week and adding a thought on to his.  I’m even using a similar graphic to show continuity.

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Although traditional media has had its downturns lately, the pros do know a thing or two about writing, writing style, consistency and writing voice.  It’s an amazing training ground. Here’s something I learned from newspaper columnists.

Take a vacation.

Columnists, the newspaper writers most similar to bloggers, have grueling, never-ending deadlines. They need to be published at least once a week – largely on Sundays – but it’s not uncommon for a columnist to be found several different days of the week as a means for the paper to build daily circulation based on the columnist’s popularity.

Because they are employees covered by employment policies and laws, and because newspaper publishers are smart enough to know the dangers of “burn out,” columnists are allowed to go on vacation. Sometimes they even takeextended vacations not common in the newspaper industry.  What happens to the column when they do?  The editor smartly does not let the space go black. Instead, one of two tactics are employed:

Tactic A: Old columns are re-published. The editor will write a caveat such as:

“Joe Smith is currently on vacation.  This column, one of his most popular,  originally appeared on whatever date.  Enjoy and we all look forward to Joe’s return with lots of new stories.”

Tactic B: Guest columnists are employed. The editor will write a caveat such as:

Jane Doe is currently on vacation.  To give her a much-needed break and time to uncover new stories,  Joe Smith has agreed to sit in for the next two weeks.”Relax

Today, I was actually thinking of taking a vacation from my 3-year old blog The Parent Rap.  My daughter called me yesterday and asked why I don’t get to have weekends like other people.  Why?  I blog!  But, it got me to thinking that it was time to give myself a break and treat newer readers to an old post they may have missed. Tactic A is going into effect!

Rhona Bronson

Rhona Bronson started down the social media path in 2006 with her blog www.TheParentRap.net and there’s been no turning back. “It opens you up to the world of possibilities,” she notes. She has helped dozens of executives enter into the social media world as part of their marketing growth plans. Her background spans both the B:B and B:C world with experience in publishing, printing, consulting, association, small business and corporate marketing and communications. She came to marketing from the communications side, starting with training in journalism from Syracuse University. With experience in all marketing genres — from Twitter to Transit Advertising — she brings a broad toolkit of skills to any marketing project. Her ability to integrate clear writing with creativity has made her a sought-after expert in developing results-oriented marketing programs for today’s challenging times. Today, she leads the Plaza Consulting Group as its Marketing Strategist specializing in integrating social media into business marketing plans. 

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  3 comments for “Old Dogs. Old Tricks.

  1. October 12, 2009 at 10:34 am

    There is also the ability to write a (blog) column ahead of time and post it on a weekend. Makes ’em think you are always working!

  2. October 12, 2009 at 10:49 am

    That’s a good idea, Dave.

    I’m still trying to figure things out with The Bloggers Bulletin. Sometimes multiple Contributors submit multiple posts on the same day. And I’d love to be like a squirrel and hold on to some of those posts for a while — like I was hording nuts for the “winter” (in this case, days with no new posts).

    But at the same time, when Contributors post, they probably want to see their work go up as soon as possible ( I know I would). So, as a result, I find myself more like a perpetually, scrawny squirrel.

  3. October 13, 2009 at 2:45 am

    Rhonda,

    Thank you for the compliment and for this wonderful follow-up.

    – Greg

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