I had the opportunity to speak to the current class of Leadership Susquehanna Valley on Thursday. As usual, The Daily Item sponsored the group’s Communication-themed day. That won me about 15 minutes to address the members of this year’s class.
I fully support this and similar programs that encourage good communication and networking.
More years ago than I am willing to admit, I participated in the Leadership Niagara program in Western New York. The Niagara Gazette was the first newspaper I served as the top editor. That Leadership program gave me an instant window into community people, businesses, government officials, etc.
The organizers of Thursday’s event didn’t give me any real guidance about what to say, which I appreciated. I thoroughly enjoy getting out and speaking about what we do at The Daily Item. The less direction I have from event organizers the better.
As always, I had some prepared remarks neatly printed out in double-spaced large type.
As always, I almost completely ignored what I’d written and just started talking.
There’s no more valuable communication tool, I told them, than the networking you get to practice as part of programs like this.
Until today, I told them, maybe they didn’t feel like you knew anyone in the media business. Now they did.
In addition to me, Managing Editor Bill Bowman, a 2016 Leadership Susquehanna Valley graduate, was there to serve as part of a panel about how the media is changing in the digital era, along with Mark Lawrence of Sunbury Broadcasting, Erica Shames of Susquehanna Life Magazine and Leslie Temple of Fulton Bank. Leslie, who also serves as part of The Daily Item’s Community Advisory Board, did a great job facilitating that discussion.
Lori Seebold and Jessica Plehn of The Daily Item’s advertising department were also on hand. Lori helped coordinate the day and Jessica spoke later about digital communications. Also, Kyra Smith-Cullen, our Deputy News Editor, who produces many of our print news pages each day, was there as a member of this year’s class. We were well-represented.
So many of the Daily item’s news stories and special report ideas, I stressed, emerge from relationships our team develops with people, whether they are in official positions or just know us and reach out to us.
We strive to tell the stories of the people of the Susquehanna Valley, as often as possible, through their voices.
Getting people to tell their stories is one of the most important things we do, Our reporters, including Eric Scicchitano, Marcia Moore, Francis Scarcella, Justin Strawser, Karen Blackledge, Rick Dandes and Joe Sylvester, do it extremely well. In many ways, their ability to do so comes from showing up, being at meetings and events and getting to know people.
I ended my brief talk with a couple of tips for getting information into our pages and on our website — tips I thought worth sharing again here.
First, take the time to figure out the right person to send your information. Our mailing address is 200 Market Street, Sunbury, PA 17801. My email address is always at the bottom of this column. All of our staff members are the first initial and last name, followed by @dailyitem.com. I’m at firstname.lastname@example.org. Bill Bowman is at email@example.com. You get the idea.
Second, if you’ve got something you want to share, please get the details together. You’re much more likely to get the word out in the area media if you make sure the important information, like time, place, ticket prices, where to call for further information, etc., is organized and accurate.
We love helping Susquehanna Valley people spread their news and tell their stories. I hope you’ll follow the simple steps above and share yours.
Email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.