I’m back, I’m back in the saddle again.

After a relaxing vacation, I’m catching up on reading and work. Here are some of my favorite reads from the past week, or two, or three.

At the Content Marketing Institute, Mark Sherbin provides tips on newsjacking: “the process of injecting your brand into the day’s news, creating a twist that grabs eyes when they’re open widest.” He also provides some examples of brands that have done it well, and a few who laid a big smelly egg. Newsjacking isn’t only for brands, individuals and associations can make newsjacking work for them too.

Jonathan Barrick has something to say to his fellow marketers: “Stop sucking, be awesome, and prove it.” That’s not all he has to say, his post at Crowdshifter lays out five promises every living marketer should make to themselves. Even though they’re all common sense, how many people are really adhering to them?

Steve Drake has been on a roll lately. Well, now that I think about it, he’s always on a roll.  His post, 15 “And/Or” Dilemmas Facing Association Leaders in 2013, provides enough fodder for discussion for more than a year’s worth of board and staff meetings. Want to know what your association should be thinking about? Start here!

Content marketing is the name of the game for events in 2013, says Jenise Fryatt. “Presentations, panels, discussions and workshops, even keynote speeches provide digestible content that is particularly useful to the larger community to which your attendees belong.” She shares ideas on how associations can generate and use this content throughout the year.

Surveys, you either don’t do them frequently enough, or if you do, you don’t ask the right questions or use what you learn. Eric Lanke has a solution: more surveys, but make them really short – just one question. He says, “When the responses come in, do something you’ve probably never done before. Post the results. Share them with the entire membership. And even more importantly, let everyone know what you’re going to do differently based on the feedback you received.” Brilliant!

One of my favorite posts this week is Come Original – Whole Self Membership from Shelly Alcorn. She encourages associations to redirect their focus so they serve and benefit from the whole member, not just the occupational or professional side of a member, but their whole self. In the comments, I (along with a few others) explained why this concept resonates so loudly and harmoniously with me. We do our best work when we bring our complete self to work, to our association or to any endeavor.

Steve Drake (yes, him again!) confessed (I think he should brag) that he’s a switchtasker – “someone who rapidly alternates between tasks.” He learned the term from an article by our pal Elizabeth Engel, who learned it from a post on Lifehacker. It gets better. I just read a post that says switchtasking maximizes creative thinking. It’s the old “sleep on it” principle at work – let your unconscious mind perform its magic. Christian Jarrett at 99U writes, “Incubation breaks boosted creative performance, but only when the time was spent engaged in a different kind of mental activity.” The challenge for me is finding that different kind of mental activity when I’m writing most of the day.

I don’t usually have problems with my writing mojo (knock on wood!) but if I do, I will follow the advice of Sarah O’Leary at Write To Done. Her five tips to keep your mojo going will work for everyone, not just writers. She emphasizes self-care: “Our creative muscles need breaks too. A change in focus replenishes those creative and intellectual synapses, priming you for another session.” Hmm, switchtasking again? Check out the good advice she shares.

content marketing reads

Parts of the Brain by Cachecope Bell (Flickr)