Welcome to SPJ Leading Edge, a blog built just for chapter leaders. Youll find tools and information to help build, grow and sustain active and successful chapters, the very backbone of SPJ. Well highlight programs, provide best practices for things like finance and governance and answer some of the most popular leadership questions. Contact Tara Puckey, SPJ Chapter Coordinator, for anything and everything chapter related.
Archive for the ‘Chapter Tech Tools’ Category
By Tara Puckey, SPJ Chapter Coordinator | May 23rd, 2013
From SPJ Director at Large, Carl Corry:
In an effort to help SPJ chapters improve their all-important web presences, or to start one, please take a few minutes to fill out the survey if you’re a chapter leader. We’ll share the results.
The goal: to help bring attention to the great work you do and improve your ability to attract and retain members.
Additionally, SPJ Director at Large Carl Corry is offering to help you get started by providing one-on-one advice to any chapter. We will also host a Google+ Hangout on the subject.
Please reply by June 14.
By Tara Puckey, SPJ Chapter Coordinator | October 22nd, 2012
Where has October gone? Before you know it, we’ll be packing up the pumpkins and bringing out the shovels. Well, at least we will at SPJ HQ in Indianapolis. Just a few quick updates before we roll into a new month:
Some of you may have already attended the Scripps Leadership Institute in Indianapolis. If not, you should know it’s an amazing resource, not only for you as a leader of SPJ, but for your own professional development. The program focuses on your leadership style, working with others, effectively leading a chapter and provides tons of ideas for you to take home and share with your fellow SPJers.
While Indianapolis is an incredibly amazing city, we’ve decided to take the show on the road and bring this great program to your backyard by visiting four regions per year. We’d like to train two or three members of your chapter board, creating a mini retreat for you to process ideas, make plans and learn about working together to build a better chapter.
The website has been updated to reflect changes about the traveling gig, and applications will be accepted soon for our first location, a farewell stop in Indianapolis. Check out when the program will stop at a city near you and start thinking about what current and future leaders you’ll send off for a blissful weekend of everything SPJ.
Your drink of choice?
Instagram contests are one of our favorites. We love to see and share moments from our members. Last week we launched another contest: #JournoJuice. Upload a picture of whatever gets you through the day to Instagram with the hashtag #journojuice before Oct. 24 and win a prize. What is it? You’ll have to follow us on Instagram (spj_pics) to find out as we’ll be posing sneaky pictures of it this week.
You can check out our Pinterest board dedicated to the contest for all the glorious drinks (and mugs, cups and flowers). In the meantime, here are some of our favorites.
A fair use program
The next episode of Studio SPJ will feature Patricia Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi, two American University professors who are the authors of “Reclaiming Fair Use – How to Put Balance Back in Copyright.” The program will air at 3:30 p.m. ET on Nov. 10.
Improve your understanding of fair use and how it applies to your work by listening to this 30-minute program live or later as a podcast.
By Tara Puckey, SPJ Chapter Coordinator | September 26th, 2012
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!
By Tara Puckey, SPJ Chapter Coordinator | September 22nd, 2012
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.
- MailChimp – Easy to use, sharp looking, custom way to send emails to chapter members and other journalists in the community. Great Forever Free plan, which should suit most chapter needs. Plays nice with social media and has an incredibly cute monkey as a mascot.
- 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!
By Tara Puckey, SPJ Chapter Coordinator | September 10th, 2012
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!
By Tara Puckey, SPJ Chapter Coordinator | July 31st, 2012
Websites, Twitter, Facebook, E-Blasts… There are two schools of thought when it comes to tech tools and journalism – either you love ‘em or you hate ‘em.
In a recent conversation with Regional Directors, I realized SPJ is all over the board on this one. Some chapters choose to promote events almost exclusively through the use of technology, while others prefer the pen to paper approach. Neither is better than the other, of course, but in order for chapters to effectively reach members, it’s important to understand and implement both types of networking.
To make your life a little easier, I’ll try to post some tools - software, websites, gadgets - on the Leading Edge more frequently. Hopefully at least one tool will be helpful in better communicating with your members and communities.
Be sure to share your own ideas by leaving a comment, or telling us how each of the tools worked (or didn’t) for you.
An amazing tool for chapters to use with their board. A feed keeps track of conversations without long email trains, calendars keep everyone in sync, files can be shared and stored, host virtual meetings and conference calls for FREE and group messages can even be sent via text. Best of all, it’s user-friendly.
Short for “If This, Then That.” There are a ton of channels (or actions, as it makes more sense to me) from Facebook to email, to small social networking sites, to phone and email.
Users pick a channel (example – Twitter) and an action associated with that channel (example – a new follower) and then another channel (example – Twitter) and another action (example – tweet “Thanks for connecting! Find out more information about SPJ and join us today!”). Did I lose you?
Basically, you can set Twitter to automatically send a thank you note and links about joining, programs, your chapter website, every single time your Twitter has someone new follow it.
This is a simple, easy way to schedule things (meetings, programs, etc.) for multiple people. Create an event, ask people to note which times work for them and view the time that’s compatible for the most people. Finally, we can get rid of those 50,000 emails back and forth with no end result, right?