Friday, February 24, 2012

Washington Post names Oakland Press reporter to "best Tweeters" list for GOP primary

Follow Charlie on Twitter @Crummc
Proud moment for our newsroom this morning — our very own veteran political reporter Charlie Crumm was named to a list of top Tweeps to follow for the Michigan primary.
Michigan's primary, as well as Arizona's, will be taking place on Tuesday, Feb. 28.
The Washington Post asked its followers to tweet them their favorite political people on Twitter in Michigan and Arizona with the hashtag #FixList.
@Crummc is, no surprise to us, number three on the list.
Crumm has been providing excellent coverage of the primary for us and having a lot of fun using audio and social media to help him do it.
Earlier this week, he recorded a conversation with one of Romney's campaign members. The resulting story about Romney pitching individual and corporate tax cuts included an audio clip from the interview.
One of the consequences of his recent work with audio is that, well, he's becoming quite popular with the politicians.
"I've got three invitations to conference calls just for today," Crumm said to me Wednesday.
And the number of invitations keep growing, too.
He sometimes puts the audio over photos of the politicians for a quick video, giving something readers to look at while they're listening (check out Romney camp won't predict victory in Tuesday's Michigan primary).
The audio clips have been a hit with WADL too, a new partnership Journal Register Newspapers in Southeast Michigan have with a local television station. The station picks up video reports and news stories for its News @9 broadcast, and Crumm's audio almost always gets play on TV.
He's also had some lighthearted fun with our Facebook fans.
Crumm keeps an eye on CafePress to track which politician's t-shirts are selling the most. On Tuesday, he asked our Facebook fans "If you were going to buy a T-shirt for one of the candidates, who would it be: Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul or Newt Gingrich?"
More than 30 people jumped in to answer and Crumm, tickled with the community's response, wrote the story In the T-shirt economy, Ron Paul leads the GOP field.
And of course, there's also the plain 'ol staying on top of where the candidates are at. This morning, he had a story ready to go by 8 a.m. with the latest updates on where in Michigan to find the GOP contenders.
He's working on a lengthy piece about the primary to run Sunday. We'll use the story to help promote our lunch-hour live chat with Crumm scheduled for Monday — Crumm's agreed to field questions from the community to try to help them arrive at the polls Tuesday as best prepared as possible.
What cool jobs we have.

Keep up with Crumm on his blog, Elections, Politics & Policy.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Reflections on Mid-America Press Institute's 'Managing Change' workshop

Now sitting in an airport restaurant waiting to board my flight home, I thought I'd share some of the highlights from this weekend's Mid-America Press Institute workshop 'Managing Change' in St. Louis.

 - Looks like the next big thing in social media has arrived: Pinterest. Brian Steffens, director of communications for the Reynolds Journalism Institute called it the fastest growing social site yet. I, of course, was beaming with pride for my colleagues at Journal Register Company and MediaNews, who have already begun experimenting with it. Consider me officially motivated to find a Pinterest project for my own newsroom.

 - I absolutely loved Steffens' idea for direct buy advertising (Click on an ad, be taken directly to webpage where you can purchase the product). This leads me to another point ...

 - There was a lot of talk about money and advertising. Glad to hear it. Journalists no longer live in a world where we can sit idly by believing that financial success is not our concern.

 - Bob Rose of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch showed an interesting graphic on traffic - while traditional websites see a daily rise and fall culminating around the lunch hour and dropping rather dramatically on weekends, mobile traffic stays relatively consistent throughout the workweek and weekend. We should start thinking about the implications this has for staffing various shifts, he said, and I agree.

- I left feeling really good about the newspaper and company I work for and a bit amazed to learn that so many newspapers are now experiencing the ugly times we went through a few years back (My surprise not at the tough times, but that the timing of them seems a bit late compared to what I experienced). Not to say it's all sunshine and roses nowadays, but I feel like we're ahead of the game in terms of a rebirth. And I hope I left others feeling like there are brighter days ahead. I believe there are, and I believe every newsroom staffer can play a role in making any day, regardless of hardships and challenges, a brighter one.