You’ve probably heard to beware the Ides of March (March 15, for Shakespeare fans). But as long as you set your clocks forward this weekend, I don’t see anything to worry about in this month’s batch of best practices.
Here are my favorite ideas from the latest Ruralite, Florida Currents and Currents magazines.
A story without a strong lead reminds me of a chair missing a leg. It’s essential. So it’s great to read through the March features and spot solid story starters. Here’s an example from freelancer Drew Myron:
The odds were against him, but challenge defines Ormand Hilderbrand. This former farm boy traveled the globe, returned to his roots and emerged a leader in renewable energy.
Paired with a character-packed shot of the subject, this lead gets your attention. From political leaders and pogo-stick athletes to preschoolers at the mailbox, take a moment to read the way your peers introduced local personalities and projects this month. Do your stories spark interest in the first few lines?
Power theft, internships, water heaters and DIY projects: We tell many of the same stories. The share package is a great way not only to get ideas, but to work with your peers and repurpose content. Working on April content? Look at Arizona’s Electrical District No. 2 story on linemen. You might get ideas on how to honor your crews on Lineworker Appreciation Day. And it was nice to see Consumers Power, Oregon, use a More Powerful Together editorial as a local page story. The result makes a powerful statement. Ruralite members can find free More Powerful Together resources here (ask your editor for the password).
We often save the best for last when it comes to critical communication. That’s true for the magazine—the back page is one of the most-viewed pieces of content. Let’s see how some utilities use this valuable real estate.
Several utilities featured annual meeting details; Peace River Electric Cooperative, Florida stands out as a great example. Roger Kline at Northern Wasco County, Oregon, tackles infrastructure investments, while Robert Echenrode at Umatilla Electric Cooperative, Oregon, spotlights BPA’s 2018-2023 strategic plan. Les Teel at Columbia REA, Washington, penned a great column on the value of electricity—a message we all try to share. And several folks, including Jo Elg at United Electric Co-op, Idaho, explain the Farm Bill’s impact on rural America. Want to share one of these messages, too? Ask your editor or contact the original writer directly to get started.
Ready for Inspiration?
Click the links below for more magazine content ideas:
Important: If you are interested in reprinting any of the features in the share package, you should contact the communicator at the utility that published the feature for permission. We include a list of the utilities’ phone numbers and contact people who have examples in the share package.
If you are interested in reprinting Ruralite features, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or your local editor.