Make Yourself Indispensable

By Tonie Auer
DFW Chapter President

Covering real estate in a down economy makes story creation a bit limited at times. But, I’m taking the advice that a commercial real estate broker gave some “young guns” at a recent event: make yourself indispensable. He told them that the key to success is making sure that your team needs you on every deal. Be a go-to person. The same is true in B2B journalism as well.

How do you do that? Be creative, for one. Find the stories that need to be told instead of rehashing the same tired topics over and over.

A great example in the commercial real estate world in Dallas is the use of Jones Lang LaSalle’s SuperBowl blog. They took their top dog — who just happens to be Hall of Famer and former Cowboys QB Roger Staubach — and paired him with his broker son to write it. So, now they’ve taken something that really has nothing to do with JLL and made themselves relevant.

With the SuperBowl coming to Dallas in February 2011, they have something to generate the interest, and the person to make it interesting. Tie in the real estate world and voila.

But, Tonie, we don’t have a Roger Staubach or a SuperBowl to get people interested, what do we do? Find something that makes you relevant to your target audience. Are they all wondering about unemployment? Industry regulations? healthcare reform impacts?

What’s on your readers’ minds? Ask them. Make your blog relevant to them and their needs. Maybe create a forum for them to ask each other questions. Christianity Today has a blog for its Your Church magazine. From information that is pertinent to its readers — church leaders — and from its comments section, the editors have developed cover stories that relate to what their readers are asking about. Let your readers guide your topics from time to time. What a novel concept? I don’t think so. It’s time we got back to basics in our coverage. With scaled-back budgets and staff, we may have no choice.

But, we have to make and/or keep ourselves relevant to our readers. Remember, make yourself indispensable. If you come up with the good ideas, your publisher, editor, board of directors (whoever) will remember that.

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