11 Engaging Topics for LinkedIn Status Updates

If a LinkedIn status update every weekday is ideal, how do you come up with enough engaging content?

Here are 11 simple content ideas. They can be tailored to reflect your goals for LinkedIn and your professional interests, as well as be easy to integrate into your day.

When you share content using these ideas, you can add your point of view. And you can engage your network by asking questions about their perspectives.

Here goes . . .

Your company’s employee advocacy program. More companies are enabling and empowering employees to share company news in their own personal social media through an employee advocacy program. If your company offers this, it’s an easy way to provide valuable content and be a brand ambassador for your employer.

Your professional associations. What organizations do you belong to? Where do you look for training and development? You’ll often find the latest thinking in your field that you can share with your network. A few of my favorites in corporate communications are the International Association of Business Communicators, the Public Relations Society of America and the Forum-Group for communications leaders.

Your favorite industry and career news sources. What are your go-to sources for news about your field or the world of work? On the top of my list are Harvard Business Review and Fast Company.

Your alma mater. Colleges and universities are helping their alums be lifelong learners. Have you checked out yours lately? As an alumni ambassador for the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, I’ve shared information about event content and information such as the Relevance Report.

Your colleagues’ content. What are people in company and your network posting? Keep an eye out for articles posted to LinkedIn that align with your goals and share those. A few of my favorites are by Carlos Botero, Rachel Ybarra and Jennifer Van Buskirk.

Books you’re reading. What’s on your Kindle or your nightstand that has a business and professional focus? Share what you’re reading and what you’re learning. For me it’s Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant. It has two daily practices that would probably benefit everyone – note 3 things you did well and 3 moments that brought joy.

Conferences and events you’re attending. What virtual or in-person development activities are you involved in? What are you learning? Share your key takeaways in a status update. Include photos of the event and people you’re meeting.

What you’re learning. What’s your development plan to learn new skills this year? Are you taking online courses, pursuing a nanodegree or listening to podcasts and TED talks? Share status updates about what you’re learning and how you’re preparing for the future. Include your perspective on why these skills will be critical to the future of work, your industry and your employer.

Speaking engagements you’re doing. Anytime you’re speaking, whether it’s a conference or a webinar, it’s a great opportunity to post an update. Share your big idea or interesting questions people asked after your talk.

Key holidays. Look at the calendar each month and identify key events. May and June, for example, are big graduation months. You could share the best career advice you got at graduation or the most important thing you’ve learned since graduation. One of my posts that got great engagement was a leadership quote and a beautiful photo from iStockPhoto on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Keep an eye out for hashtag holidays – like #NationalMentoringMonth in January #GetToKnowYourCustomers day in July – and create posts about them.

Your blog. Do you have a blog about your profession and your industry? LinkedIn is a perfect place for a status update each time you post new content. If you’ve been blogging for a while, look through the archives to see what’s still timely. Your status update could include fresh information or a new take on the original post.

For the month of May, I’m going to conduct an experiment. I’ll further test these content ideas by posting a status update to LinkedIn on every workday of the month. That’s 22 status updates.

In future posts, I’ll share what I learn in the process about creating an editorial calendar, responding to comments, evaluating analytics, increasing engagement and more.

In the meantime, what would you add to this list of content ideas?

Is Accreditation Worth It?


Is it a good idea to earn a bunch of letters after your name? ABCAPR and CPRC, to name a few.

As with many decisions, it depends.

First, what are these letters?

They’re the accreditation programs offered by various professional associations for corporate communications and public relations.

IABC offered the Accredited Business Communicator designation through 2013 and is moving to ISO certification. 

The Universal Accreditation Boardof which PRSA is a participating member, offers the Accreditation in Public Relations designation.

The Florida Public Relations Association offers the Certified Public Relations Counselor designation for senior-level professionals.

Second, should you want them?

Earlier in my career, I pursued accreditations to help establish credibility and confidence in my capabilities as a communicator. They were part of the evolution in my journey of demonstrating my professional knowledge. A logical next step after my PR certificate and my M.A.

Right after I hit the required five years of work experience, I earned an ABC. Shortly after than came an APR.

As my work expanded into Human Resources, I added an SPHR, or Senior Professional in Human Resources.

But here’s the thing. I was motivated to prove something to myself, not to others. I wanted to show myself that I had mastered a body of knowledge. That I had reached a certain level of expertise. And that I had what it took to contribute at the next level.

It was intrinsic motivation. I was internally motivated to add to my knowledge bank – for the sheer joy of learning something new and applying my new-found knowledge to my work.

And to continue learning through the recertification process every few years. Lifelong learning is what enables you to thrive in a rapidly changing world. It gives you more confidence in your abilities to handle whatever comes your way.

Leonard A. Schlesinger and others make a compelling case for this in a Harvard Business Review piece about the information explosion and continually retraining and relearning for the future.

When I hear people talk about accreditation, the underlying rationale is often extrinsic motivation. There’s an expectation of an external reward. Could be getting hired, getting a raise or getting promoted.

From my perspective, there are more effective ways to make the case for those external rewards. Things like sharing your best work, showing the results you achieved for your organization and giving insight into how you think and solve problems.

This may be why accreditation seems to have fallen out of favor in recent years. Fewer people are pursuing accreditation, perhaps because they don’t see the rewards or a return on their investments. Associations are stepping up their marketing efforts in response. And so the cycle goes.

Like with most things in life, you’ll go further with intrinsic motivation. Do things because they’re important to you personally and you derive satisfaction from them.

This has implications for leadership as well. Creating the conditions for people to be internally motivated will lead to greater performance, after the extrinsic needs such as salary have been met.

Someone will go the greater distance because of a burning motivation within. Our job as leaders is to provide a sense of meaning and purpose that speaks to our team members and fuels an inner passion to excel.

This means investing time in getting to know each person as an individual. What are their passions? What are their aspirations? What’s most important to them?

Once you know this, you can structure your team for maximum impact and tailor your leadership approach for each person.

Third, what do you do with them?

Do I list my accreditations in my LinkedIn profile? Of course. Why wouldn’t I showcase my dedication to lifelong learning?

Do I include them in my email signature or on my business card? Absolutely not. I want the focus to be on my name. On my personal brand.

Should you get accredited? Probably not. Unless you love learning and want to prove something to yourself.

Work on your social media presence, your speaking ability and your strategic agility. Bring new ideas and fresh thinking to your job every day – all topics of upcoming posts.

Who Am I? (part two)


Once you find your dream career, how do you get a foot in the door?

That became a three-year career change process for me. And it had three parts – getting an advanced degree, building a portfolio of comms work and creating a new network. (Yes, I’m a planner. Probably to an unnecessary degree in this case, but it ultimately worked for me.)

An advanced degree. First I went back to my alma mater and enrolled in the Public Relations certificate program through UCLA Extension.

Then I thought about grad school. Once I discovered corp comms, though, I abandoned plans for an MBA.

Ironically, an undergrad degree in economics worked against me early on. Hiring managers wanted communications, journalism or English.

Only recently has econ turned into an advantage. Now we have to be well versed in business strategy and operations.

I next set my sights on journalism and applied to the University of Southern California.

But I didn’t get in.

Undaunted, I applied to the USC Annenberg School for Communication.

I took two evening classes a semester, learning about organizational comms, the diffusion of innovations and comms research from luminaries like Janet Fulk, Peter Monge and Sheila Murphy.

While I was at Annenberg, the journalism and communication schools merged. So I ultimately became a graduate of the school that turned me down.

The lesson? Rejection is part of chasing your biggest dreams. And sometimes life can surprise you in interesting ways.

A portfolio of work. My masters work helped me build a portfolio of communications, because I could tailor projects to my areas of interest.

I also joined a professional association in my field at the time, the National Contract Management Association. As the chapter’s comms chair, I edited the newsletter, wrote news releases and served as the group’s spokesperson.

Today there are great ways to showcase a portfolio on the web and through social media – a quantum leap from the big book of publications and press clippings I used to lug with me to job interviews.

A new network. The best way to make a lateral career move came from building a network in my new field.

First I joined a professional association. IABC, the International Association of Business Communicators, took me as a member before I had a job in the field.

A local chapter invited me to join their board. It was the perfect opportunity. I invited senior communicators to speak at our meetings. It gave me access to people in way I could build relationships.

When I was asked to be chapter president, it was a fortunate coincidence that I finally landed my first job in the field. Later I become a district director, international executive board member and world conference general session speaker on social media.

My network was valuable in two ways. First, I did informational interviews. Following the Richard Bolles path from part one of this series, I met with people in the field and asked them about their work.

I asked how they got into the field. What they did every day. What they liked and didn’t like. What they looked for in new hires. How the field was changing.

Second, my network became a source of job referrals. I decided a good way to make a lateral move was within the 10,000-person aerospace unit where I already worked. That way I could leverage my knowledge of the company and the industry while moving into a new functional area.

However, the company was so big that to its communications team I was an outsider. But a professional association gave me an in. I met people on the comms team and learned about job openings, often before they were posted.

That led to a series of interviews. And a series of rejections. It became a familiar refrain. The hiring manager liked me, but another candidate was a better fit.

Job opportunity #5 was for a graphic design position. By that point the department was almost as eager to hire me as I was to join. But the position didn’t use my strongest skills, so I declined to pursue it.

I told myself something better would come along. And it did.

A few weeks later, the same hiring manager called me with job opportunity #6. One of his writers had just resigned. Would be I be interested in the job?

Uh, yeah.

A body of awards. Early in my career I tried to establish credibility quickly, to make up for lost time. Awards carried career currency then.

A “with distinction” notation when I passed my master’s comprehensive exam. The outstanding young PR professional award from the Los Angeles chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.

A TRW Women of Achievement Award (that’s me, second from the right, in the opening photo). Communicator of the Year from IABC/LA. Several IABC writing awards.

Seems almost silly now, how eager I was to prove myself.

Today our value is measured in new ways. And that’s the subject of my next post.