We welcome to the front table:

  • Matthew Bernaldo, Interactive Assistant News Director for Waterman Broadcasting
  • Mei-Mei Chan, Publisher and President of The News-Press Media Group
  • Jean Gruss, Editor of Gulf Coast Business Review
  • Osvaldo Padilla, Managing Editor of Florida Weekly
  • David Sendler, Editor of Gulfshore Life
  • Amy Tardif, FM Station Manager and News Director of WGCU Public Media

Amy: Several ways to listen to WGCU – web, high definition radio, on iPhone…
Choose to cover a story based on news value, location, of prurient interest. With new media we are now bringing small video cameras on news stories. WGCU personal Facebook and Twitter sites are monitored. Have a news story? Send it to wgcunews@wgcu.org.
No multiple sends
Don’t follow-up with phone call
Don’t send a flyer or newsletter in place of a press release
Faxes are so 2005

David:  We are stepping up in the social media arena. On Facebook, Twitter, using email newsletter. Keeping to traditional subjects to our audience – dining, fashion, lifestyle. Looking for stories that get us “on the inside.” Gulfshore Life newsstands sales ahead by 6% in  over last year!
Use a seductive subject line
When you are attempting to place story and don’t succeed, be gracious

Matthew: I get 100 emails on a slow morning…anything you can do to increase efficiency of email is helpful
Please don’t send me attachments!
Tell me why my audience should care
How is it going to be visual?
Don’t sell all the time on social media channels, give me other value

Osvaldo: You are welcome to call be “Waddy”, everyone does! We are primarily a print product, and I agree with Mei Mei Chan of the News-Press, in the end it’s about story-telling. We do rely a lot on press releases. Send your releases to me. We do accept attachments.
Artwork always helps to get your items placed
We give preference to non-profit events
Summertime is a better time to get into Florida Weekly
Like to print forward-looking stories – events, trends, issues
Deadlines – we work about 2 weeks in advance, deadline should be one week prior to publication
Plan stories in meetings every 4 – 6 weeks, so pitch that far in advance for issues articles
You sacrifice control over the story once the release is in our hands!

Jean: Very targeted to the people who own and manage large companies along the Gulf Coast.
Understand who our reader is. Media guide is online at www.review.net
Give me first crack at a story
Enjoy discussing the merits of a story
I never turn information away, so send me everything you’ve got
Must ask yourself why our readers should care?
Be ready to share financial data if you are a nonprofit, including tax returns
Trends: increased role of government in business; web presence

Mary Briggs, APR, CPRC, Briggs & Rogers Public Relations: What are your plans for political coverage this coming year?
Osvaldo: A little bit difficult for us, we can’t do what the daily papers do. You will see some political coverage but do not expect every issue to be covered.
Mei Mei: Much more multi-media and interactive this year than ever before. Creating a centralized information base online. Particularly focused on local races.
Amy: Collaborating with other public TV and radio stations on covering the statewide races, amendments. October “Voices for You” will be dedicated to political races and amendments.
Jean: How politics affects business, entrepreneurs running for office.

Kathleen Taylor, APR, Chapter President: How do you deal with errors and corrections?
David: If it’s a factual mistake, we will print a correction. The trick is where will you put it?
Jean: We fix them right away.

Jennifer Berg, Lee County Economic Development: How many of you are following with other publications’ and organizations social media sites?
Matthew: Sole criteria is that you’re local and you don’t annoy me. We actually do get stories and information that way. Make it obvious that you’re local.
Mei Mei: Don’t expect that to cover you, as we are inundated with info. At the end of the day relationships are important.
Osvaldo: Thinks Twitter and Facebook are way overrated. We don’t follow anybody’s accounts. We do check websites.

Tricia Goins, Habitat for Humanity: What is the best way to build that relationship?
Mei Mei: Call and ask to sit down for a meeting.
David: I love good ideas, so anyway you can bring them to my attention. You lose body language and voice recognition when not in person.
Matthew: Talk to our anchors and reporters when you see them out.
Osvaldo: Be our eyes and ears in the community. Share stories even if they are not part of your agenda.
Amy: We’re really, really small, and I wear four hats and have kids, so if everyone wanted to go to lunch it would take a year! But if you call and say we should do a story about “x” I will go online and check it out.

Question via Twitter: Are any local journos using Foursquare as a resource?
Matthew: Still figuring out how to use it for media purposes, not too many people locally are using it. From a news standpoint one good use recently re: the NYT marked the location of theTimes Square bomb.

Samantha: How does having a good relationship with a PR professional affect your approach to a “bad news” story?
Matthew: Don’t bring up the friendship. If the news is bad you’ve just got to suck it up and take it.
Osvaldo: I think we’ve all been in that position, this is a small town. It’s uncomfortable. But we don’t try to cover stories that are “good” or “bad”. We’re there to lay out the facts of the story.
Mei Mei: Transparency. If you don’t share it, it will be discovered. The more you share, the more we’ll use. So your role in controlling the story relates to transparency. Our job is to get the story as right as possible, with your help. 

And that’s a wrap!

Blogger: Ginny Cooper, Immediate Past President