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Out of Story Ideas? 18 fresh ideas to keep employees interested

As writers, we've all run smack into this wall. This funk usually seems to manifest from the natural routine of our lives — call leads, call sources, write, repeat.


Well, while the same story ideas are being volleyed your way by peers and superiors (who are simply excited consumers trying to be helpful to your cause), there are more interesting stories in the world then Bill Plankton's retirement and what's new in version 6.8 of the employee handbook.


Here are 18 story ideas to amp up your employee news feed:


1. Someone who started with the company. These people are historians. They have great stories. But most importantly, they have seen the evolution of the company (Be sure to ask them about what it was like without the technology of today).


2. Co-workers who married a co-worker. Depending on your company's fraternization policy, love may have bloomed amongst peers. I've met people who started dating not knowing that they worked for the same company.


3. Monthly message from the company's or department's leader. It's always nice to know what your boss is thinking. I especially love video clips of leaders delivering said message for the Intranet.


4. Employee-sponsored programs that show success. Lots of times, employees create their own internal organizations (i.e. peer support groups, book clubs). Ask around and check them out during one of their events.


5. Generational stories. Know an employee who is the daughter of another employee? Write about their relationship and how they ended up in the same place.


6. A day in the life. These kinds of stories are especially fun when you're dealing with skilled workers like train conductors or processor chip quality checkers. The details and nuances of their daily work routines are surprisingly interesting.


7. Days gone without injury. In manufacturing or heavy labor fields, this is important to employees. Make sure you get the numbers right.


8. Shine a light on the outliers. In every company, there's a person (or a group of persons) who don't work in the same building, or in the same country for that matter. Get in touch with them and do a Q&A that basically begs the question, "What the heck do you guys do over there?"


9. Employees who volunteer together. 'Nuff said.


10. Employees who are recovering from a natural disaster. Delicate subject, but it doesn't negate the fact that people want to know how this has effected their lives and how they can help (especially if the company is helping them recover). Consult your company's counsel with your story before you publish, though. You don't want the company to get smacked with a lawsuit.


11. Fit clubs. These days, companies are all but forcing their employees to get involved in their health programs and to take advantage of the company discount you get at a local gym. Take a stab at writing a story about how employees have changed their diet and lost weight. You might even run into a couple of marathoners.


12. Safety team efforts. What changes are being made to enhance how safely we work? This can be anything from installing newer equipment to the company allowing employees to work from home during severe weather.


13. How military experience has helped an employee excel. Trust me. You'll be surprised at how a military career can influence leadership and camaraderie.


14. Rescues. Mind you, it is not a good idea to write about an employee rescuing another employee while they were both at work. But I've run into employees who were driving to work , saw a car on fire and moved quickly to help put it out. Employees who have stopped burglaries or who have halted traffic for a herd of cows lingering about the highway — yes.


15. When an employee has "written the book on" a new standard for the company. I love these kinds of stories, but have only run into a few. When you are able to find an employee who is touted for redesigning a way to do something, it must be written about. Laud him or her for his focus, skill and concern for the company's well-being.


16. Cover a company-sponsored training or class. Sometimes, a company will host special seminars or courses for their employees' benefit. Anything from how to properly book flights or how to use the new org charting tool. This could be a helpful little write-up.


17. Employees who are good at other stuff. I once was calling around trying to dig up a cool story idea for an employee newsletter, and happened upon an employee who raised sheep and cattle for livestock shows. I could tell it was his passion because he talked about it with an awkward and crazy level of excitement.


18. Firsts. Has the company launched a new function? Is someone the first woman to become a Technology VP in the company's history? Will the company be awarded with a "Best Places to Work" recognition for the first time? Speak on it.


Don't forget to take pictures!

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