Today, I sent out the following note to our editors. We want to challenge ourselves to significantly improve our blogs.
You can check out our array of blogs at www.yorkblog.com. Any thoughts you have about improving the service that we can provide in this area would be appreciated. Look forward to hearing from you.
Here’s what I sent to the editors:
Two of our bloggers, Joan Concilio and John Hilton, have independently put forth some excellent ideas to help improve their service to their audiences and to grow those audiences. We’d like to share those efforts with you, and work with you to challenge each of our bloggers to take specific steps heading into 2012 to significantly increase the value of their blogs.
From Joan Concilio:
“Thought this was a fun way to start planning for 2012. I’ve had 29 responses already, which I think is pretty high for a 10-question survey with absolutely no incentive other than my undying gratitude.
“I’m running it for about a week, and I’ll be glad to share the feedback. So far, memories are by far the most popular topic (not a surprise) and one reader says they’d like to read “more about the history of York” – Jim, I’ll be sending that person your way!
“Buffy is going to put in Friday’s link roundup on her blog, and I’ve been sharing. Just wanted you guys to see and think about if there’s a way for us to use this type of tool elsewhere.”
From John Hilton:
John is sending the following letter to churches throughout the county. His stated goals are to build contacts and increase communication, but his real objective is to get all of the church web sites to provide a link to his blog, Belief and Beyond.
Dear (name here),
Soon, I will begin my first full year as religion reporter for the York Daily Record/Sunday News. I hope to build on what I have learned since I took this position on Sept. 1. Most importantly, I want to broaden my contacts and our coverage of the many churches and denominations in York County. The most direct way for me to do this is through my blog at www.yorkblog.com/faith/.
My plan is to have daily updates on religion news, hopefully, multiple updates daily. I think it’s possible if I can get my hands on your news. I want the Belief and Beyond blog to be a go-to site for interesting and relevant local religion news. A typical day might include a brief commentary on a national faith issue by me, supplemented by interesting announcements and events from your end.
As we moved forward into the technological age, I hope we can communicate more through cyberspace. Please send me your news at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, please consider linking to www.yorkblog.com/faith/ from your church website. It will help facilitate news to your congregation and back to me as well.
Our challenge to you:
Every staff blogger should take specific measures to better serve the readers of their blogs, and to reach many more people. We have great content, but we know we are not doing enough to get it in front of everyone who might enjoy it. And we have people who are working their tails off, but we know that not all of that work has enough impact to justify the effort.
Please talk with everyone on your staff who blogs. And if you blog, please do this for yourself as well.
In January, we’d like to review all of these specific plans and see what we can to do back up these efforts. Everyone who is working so hard on their blogs deserves our full support.
Randy Parker and Scott Fisher