The Pope, An Immigrant, and Donald Trump walk into a bar…

by Mark Goldwich

Just kidding – the point is, no matter what your job is, it is important to be current when
broadcasting to the “masses”. (pun intended)
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Each of us has a wealth of information, based on personal and professional experiences, formal and informal education, books read, seminars attended, and so on. So while we can speak about any number of subjects, I am often reminded that the best topics to talk about are those that are most current, or in today’s lingo, what is “trending”.

For me, being in the insurance industry, I could look to local items, like:
Just this week there was a news story and article on titled, “Jacksonville Budget Amendment Transfers Money from Drainage Project to Firefighters”. In the article, it talked about people with localized flooding issues caused by recent heavy rainstorms, who are upset because “A last-minute amendment passed on Monday that took money away from storm drainage to help restore the salaries of Jacksonville firefighters. The amendment passed on Monday takes about $300,000 from the drainage fund and puts it towards restoring the salaries of Jacksonville firefighters.” These residents are not against firefighters, but they pay taxes that include storm water fees, and they are tired of having to wear rubber boots every day just to walk outside their home.

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Earlier this month I saw a story on about a fire that broke out in the kitchen of a local McDonalds restaurant at 3 a.m. Similar fires damage homes and businesses daily, and each one details the need not only for insurance, but prevention, maintenance, and fire suppression.

You can also find countless stories about local insurance agencies, insurance companies, jobs in the insurance field, or stories about insurance benefits for local city government employees and officials.

You could then easily expand your search for recent events on a statewide level, and for example, find a story about famed coach Lou Holtz, whose Orlando area home was heavily damaged by fire, along with personal items like photographs with presidents and popes, the torch he carried in the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta, and so much more.

There has also been plenty of severe weather all across the state recently, damaging homes, businesses and cars. A article earlier this year posted the following events which all occurred on the same day in Florida:

-          Storms brought down trees and knocked out a few traffic signals in St. Petersburg, Florida.

-          Throughout Tallahassee, Florida, reports popped up of trees blocking roadways and damaging homes after a storm struck around 10:30 a.m.

-          A National Weather Service employee spotted a funnel cloud in Miami early this afternoon.      Another funnel cloud was reported by a trained spotter in Boynton Beach, Florida, at 4:20 p.m.

Widening the search to regional or national levels, and again for international news on industry or related topics would only yield more current events to investigate, discuss, and opine upon.

Once I find a current topic I want to discuss, I always try to find a way to add my own personality to the subject, whether by comparing it to an actual situation that has occurred in my business, or by giving my own position on the topic. I also want to give the reader something else to think about, in addition to what is being reported on. After all, every story would be different depending on the background or point of view of the reporter.

Most news stories aren’t going to go into all facets of the event. Take a simple story about a home fire, for instance. I could talk about the importance of getting the right insurance policy, or documenting your valuables so you can prove your claim later, or presenting your claim to the insurance company, or even fighting to maximize your claim, and much more. Someone else could talk about restoration methods, new construction materials, fire suppression equipment, smart-home wiring, using LEED-certified products in the reconstruction – the potential list of alternative topics using just this one scenario is absolutely endless.

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In this article I talked about writing articles that are current. Even though I am relatively new to writing my own articles, I have learned enough to use timely material, based on relevant topics, and inject my personality, to create a product people can not only learn from, but enjoy (hopefully). After all, I’m not a writer; I’m just an insurance adjuster, who owns a small business, and writes about it.

 Mark Goldwich is president of Gold Star Adjusters, a group of public insurance adjusters dedicated to helping citizens get the maximum settlement for any insurance claim.   


  1. A lot of current event out there to make you think - I need to be a scout, get my ducks in a row and be prepared.

  2. I was super curious how those residents feel about that redistribution of funding, that takes away from a problem they are dealing with on a daily basis. It is VERY important to stay up to date with the happenings in your local area, as well as the rest of the world! What may not effect you today, can take a toll on your life tomorrow...

  3. Good ideas on how to come up with topical articles.

  4. Everybody talks about the weather. But nobody in Florida does anything about it until a hurricane is breathing down our necks.

  5. Good to know there's such a wealth of information out there. The real talent lies in being able to disseminate that information and make it relevant to your message. Looks like you've got a handle on it, though.