Happy October! Time for new ideas.

Though I may be three months early for a resolution, I do offer this insight, which grew out of a terrific conference I attended last week.

Surround yourself with smart folks in your industry, and your own work is bound to get even better. That was clear to me as I attended and led conversations about communications strategies.

Among those I met in Portland (some for the first time) was an accomplished communicator from the Washington State Bar Association. Grabbing the opportunity, I told her (OK, I gushed) how much I enjoy the content and approach of their NWSidebar, a terrific blog.

Writing? Thinking about it? Contact us! (great image via http://nwsidebar.wsba.org/)

Writing? Thinking about it? Contact us! (great image via http://nwsidebar.wsba.org/)

Here’s how the WSBA describes their blog:

“NWSidebar is focused on creating a welcoming, useful, dynamic and engaging communications forum that attracts contributors and readers. We hope to create a sense of community among blog contributors and readers, and provide an opportunity for more organic, member-driven content and interaction on an ongoing basis.”

The communicator I met is the WSBA’s Online Communications Specialist, Julia Nardelli Gross. I told her that I enjoyed her blog contributions quite a bit, and that I’m often tempted to steal her ideas. She was friendly and gracious, exactly the person you want being one of your communications leaders.

As I am considering story ideas for 2014, I came across one of Julia’s posts recently that featured five hot topics that they want to see Washington lawyers write on in the future. The suggestions include the Second Amendment and changes in law school education—and a few notions farther afield.

I’ve done my share of crowdsourcing stories, but that post is so well written and constructed, it’s hard to believe they won’t get a great response.

Like the WSBA, I too am seeking great and interesting writers and stories, both for guest blog posts and for Arizona Attorney Magazine. Contact me anytime. But first head over and follow what Julia’s up to.