Archive for September, 2012


Connecticut hosts Google research executive

Congratulations to the Connecticut Pro chapter for receiving a chapter grant this month! Here’s the chapter’s recap of the events:

Connecticut SPJ hosted a presentation by Daniel Russell, a research executive with Google, on strategies for using Google faster, more efficiently and more comprehensively. The event took place Sept. 10, 2012.

His one-and-a-half-hour presentation was free for everyone, with space provided by Southern Connecticut State University and its student SPJ chapter.

It drew approximately 25 attendees: a mix of college journalism students (mostly SCSU and Quinnipiac University), faculty and working professionals.

Russell didn’t provide handouts or worksheets for his session, but instead referred attendees to information from a reasonably similar session he presented at the 2012 conference of Investigative Reporters and Editors in Boston.

Congratulations on a successful program, Connecticut!

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SPJ Chapter Leaders Sessions: Web Tools

Maybe you’re checking out this list as you amble out of one of the Chapter Leaders Sessions at Excellence in Journalism 2012. Or, maybe you’re a chapter leader who couldn’t quite make it to the conference, but are diligently checking up on everything SPJ while lounging at home in your pajamas on a Saturday.

Either way, here’s the list of helpful web tools that were shared during the session at EIJ12. Did we miss something? Was one of these tools helpful in a way we didn’t mention? Share by commenting below or sending an email – we’d love to hear it!

  • Ticketbud - Ticket sales. Organizers pay a flat fee, regardless of the amount of tickets they sell (free events are FREE). Event pages can be customized and can be formatted to include an easy option for sponsorship. Random goodwill fact: any events benefiting cancer are FREE.
  • A blog – We’ve forever heard from chapters that it’s hard to get a website or blog going, but the reality is that the web is where current and future  members are going to find you. So try any number of these free (with paid options, of course) tools: WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger, Posterous, Snackwebsites… the list goes on and on. Something, if regularly updated, is better than nothing.
  • Finances are complicated for us as individuals, let alone managing those of a non-profit organization of journalists (who aren’t inquisitive and curious at all…). As a leader, you obviously have to find what will work for your individual chapter, but checking into something like FreshBooks, a cloud accounting service, might be helpful. With this tool, more than one person can “see” the finance situation, creating better checks and balances.
  • Meetup.com – Consider listing your chapter and events on Meet Up, a site for people to find connections by interest and location. Also consider using the tool to find similar journalism organizations in your area and suggest a partnership for an event or two.

These are just a few tools that  might help keep your chapter connected and cut down volunteer hours. Do you have a great suggestion? Share it with other leaders by posting a comment or email it!

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Back to SDX roots

SPJ President John Ensslin spent the weekend in Greencastle, Ind., on the beautiful campus of DePauw University, the very birthplace of Sigma Delta Chi.

Take a look at some shots of Ensslin with the students – more to come soon!

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Gridiron in San Antonio a huge success

People packed the Watson Fine Arts Center in San Antonio for the San Antonio SPJ Chapter’s Gridiron performance. Ticket sales yielded roughly $8,500 that the chapter will hand out as scholarships. The chapter summed up the event and thanked notable people on their blog but, even cooler, is the YouTube channel that features videos of some of the spoofs from the show.

Here’s a great preview:

Chapter president Eva Ruth Moravec shared one tool that helped the chapter with the logistics of their event:

www.ticketbud.com – we presold online tickets using this service. It was $40 to set up the event (no cost if the event is free), but that means the fee isn’t passed onto ticket-buyers. The site uses PayPal for transactions and is extremely easy to use. We’ve used it for two events and it’s made things much easier. Customers print out tickets and the organizers can upload a list in Excel and sort by name, etc.

Does your chapter have a helpful tool or tip? Don’t forget to share it!

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Burning questions from chapter leaders for #EIJ12

Do you plan on attending one of the Chapter Leader Sessions at Excellence in Journalism? You absolutely should.

Mark your calendar now, or better yet, favorite the session in your handy EIJ12 app!

Professional chapter leaders, I’ll see you on Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m. to talk programming, membership, communication and more. And campus leaders, show up on Saturday from 12 to 2 p.m. Interested in advising a campus chapter but you’re a pro? Head to both! Post-grad member trying to figure out how to connect with young professionals in a pro chapter? Head to both! No matter what, I’d like to see you there!

But don’t come empty handed. Bring some of your favorite chapter ideas and materials to share with others. Have a board member handbook? Bring it along! Have a great flyer you just created for an amazing program? Bring that, too!

You shouldn’t wait for the session to participate! I want to hear your burning questions about SPJ leadership and chapter growth and development. Fuel the discussion before we even get there! Comment on this post, share your question on Facebook or post to Twitter using the hashtags #EIJ12 and #SPJleaders.

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Another way to check out finance tips

We’ll be posting this Prezi to the SPJ.org website soon, but wanted to give you an early look at this Prezi all about chapter finances.

A few weeks ago, we posted some best practices for chapter finance to the Leading Edge, where you commented with ideas and corrections. Don’t forget – these are just suggestions. As chapter leaders, you’ve got to do what works best for your chapter.

And now, we’ve wrapped all that up into an interactive tutorial. Enjoy!

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