Light bulb drawn on a chalkboard

It’s happened again. The next issue of your newsletter is due next week. You’ve been scanning for content so you’ve got industry news and events, but your planned feature fell through. What now?

You have  a few options.  Number 5 is probably your best bet at the last minute, but you can only use it once (or maybe once a year, though I would avoid the predictable rush of December/January news highlights).

  1. Read. Keep a running list of ideas from your daily news “download.” Subscribe to industry news, customer or partner newsletters, and updates from industry associations. Government reports are a great source, especially in the health field. Check CDC, NIH and FDA for starters.
  2. Borrow. (But don’t steal.) Everyone is overloaded with news. Curate others’ content (with attribution/links, of course). Do this well, and you’ll stand out. Get ideas from internal meetings, conference presentations, technical publications–but be sure anything you’ve gleaned from these sources is OK to share. Linking to source files is always a good option.
  3. Beg. Ask your staff for news (for the 47th time). Ask your Twitter followers, Facebook friends or LinkedIn connections what they want to know more about. Do a survey of your engaged readers; any email marketing platform should let you create a segment of readers who opened your last message, or you can put a link in the next edition. Check your web analytics. Look at popular searches on your site, and create content around those.
  4. Record. Interview your colleagues about their areas of expertise or frequently asked questions, and videotape it. Edit the interviews down to short segments to make a series. Post them on your website and YouTube channel, and select one to highlight in each newsletter. If people aren’t reading your FAQs page, maybe they’ll watch a quick video. Worth a shot, right?
  5. Rerun. Have web pages with great content but so-so traffic? Repurpose them as newsletter features, or put a teaser in your newsletter linking to the page. Do a “best of” edition. List links and features that were your most-liked or most-clicked in the last year. If you get regular web hits on this content, people are still looking for it. Put it out there again.

If you happen to see a “best of” feature in my next newsletter, you’ll know I take my own advice.