Archive for the ‘SPJ Leadership’ Category


Taxes, major awards, the Post Office and a makeover … SPJ style

Status is important – don’t lose it!

It’s that time of year – holiday bustle, good food and great friends, just like the ones at the IRS.

They’ve asked that our chapters file their annual Form 990’s by Dec. 15. That’s a little over a month away, so mark your calendars or, better yet, just get it over with.

Those chapters whose annual gross receipts are normally $50,000 or less can electronically submit Form 990-N, also known as the e-Postcard. It’s quick and painless and you’ll want to do it ASAP. Otherwise, after three consecutive years of not filing your chapter will automatically lose its tax-exempt status.

You can use this link to file. If you have questions, Tara Puckey, Chapter Coordinator, can help (tpuckey@spj.org, 317.920.4784).

Return to sender?!

At SPJ HQ, we know how badly everyone wants to get their bright and shiny SPJ card in the mail when they join, so we get sad every time our friendly postal worker brings back a stack of returned cards. Plus, it costs us money that we could be spending on other awesome journalism training programs, which makes us extra sad.

So do us a solid and remind members that if they’re pulling up the stakes to move, let us know ASAP. We’ll be grateful, they’ll be grateful and our post office will probably be grateful, too.

It’s a major award!

Sorry, we just couldn’t help ourselves since the holidays are right around the corner. Anyway, we’re really talking about actual major awards – our Sigma Delta Chi Awards and the Mark of Excellence Awards, which honor outstanding professional and student journalism, respectively.

Please take a few minutes to pass on deadline information to your chapter members:

Sigma Delta Chi Awards: Opened Nov. 3 and closes Feb. 6
Mark of Excellence Awards: Opened Nov. 3 and closes Jan. 23

Questions about awards can be sent to our Awards Coordinator, Abbi Martzall (amartzall@spj.org, 317.920.4791).

SPJ Leads just got a makeover

Looks aren’t everything, but they’re certainly going to help Leads, our members only weekly emails. 

A whole new feel will still bring you the same great news about SPJ programs, industry news and other insider info.

So what does this mean for you? A few things you need to know about the spiffy new Leads:

  • If your chapter does cool stuff, be sure to tell us about it by Monday each week so we can feature it in Leads on Wednesday (we can’t guarantee to include everything we receive so send early and send often)
  • When you submit info, send it to Taylor Carlier, our Communications Coordinator, attcarlier@spj.org
    • Include a short (as in 200 words or less) write up
    • A graphic or photo (required)

Chat with the law

You know communication is key. Because of that, we’re asking chapters across the country to open constructive dialogue with law enforcement officers in their communities. It’s imperative that those sworn to protect and serve do their jobs without jeopardizing the journalist’s responsibility to the public.

So talk it out.

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Chapter leaders: Let’s talk web stuff

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.

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A subtle reminder

Annual Reports, Annual Reports, Annual Reports, Annual Reports, Annual Reports…
Campus – May 1
Professional – May 6

I’m pretty sure you’re picking it up. As always, if you have questions – contact Tara Puckey, Chapter Coordinator, via email or phone (317.927.8000, ext. 215).

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Don’t you want to be a Scrippster?

Yes, you do. Scrippsters are among the best and brightest of SPJ. Fearless leaders who spent an entire weekend learning about their leadership styles, how to better their beloved chapter and had some amazing fun, of course.

They’re participants in the Ted Scripps Leadership Institute, developed to create better leaders by offering a mix of sessions focused on interpersonal and organizational leadership skills, as well as sound chapter management practices. And in 2013, the Institute is hitting the road.

In fact, it has already made a stop in Indianapolis, taking place on a chilly March weekend. A group of devoted leaders from Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Nebraska gathered together to create memories and lessons that are sure to last a lifetime.

Check out their experiences!

Or, if you’re interested in more, you can always read through the Storify of the event, which captures spectacular memories, important lessons and insight into the program through the words of the Scrippsters themselves.

Then, because you’ll definitely want to be one – apply to participate in a region near you! We’ll be in Denver in June and Memphis in July. Applications are due soon, so don’t delay. Questions? Contact Chapter Coordinator, Tara Puckey, via email or phone (317) 927-8000, ext. 215.

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Get your books in order!

Hey chapters, here’s a heads up:

Over the last six months, two of our local chapters have discovered mishandling of their funds. In an effort to help chapters practice fiscal responsibility, the exec committee recently approved a motion to require pro chapters to submit 12 months of bank statements with their annual reports for the time period covered by the report.

Exact wording:

Pro chapters will submit 12 months of chapter bank statements, for all chapter accounts, with their annual reports.

Good news: You have time. Start getting your books in order. Conduct monthly audits to make sure you’re ready. And when I say audit, I don’t mean glance over the Word doc your treasurer handed to you – take a look at those statements, reconcile the checkbook, view cashed checks, ask questions. Trust me, it’s worth it in the long run.

The statements are considered part of the annual report and if they’re not included, it’s not considered a complete report.

Questions? Email me, call me (317-927-8000, ext. 215). I’m happy to help walk you through our financial best practices, answer tax questions or just listen to your chapter concerns.

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SPJ welcomes Newsroom Members

Attention chapter leaders: We’re giving you yet another opportunity to grow your ranks and fill up with folks straight out of the newsroom. That’s because we’re proud to announce SPJ’s Newsroom Memberships.

Here’s the nuts and bolts of the program:

Newsrooms join one of three membership tiers, Bronze ($250), Silver ($750) or Gold ($1,250). When they do, their employees receive pro memberships for $60 instead of $75, they’ll receive access to SPJ.org and all our training resources there, free job postings/classifieds, free award entries, conference reimbursements and more. Really, the possibilities are endless.

Here’s the official description, so you’ll know what we’re promoting to newsroom leaders:

A Newsroom Membership is the best way to show a commitment to producing high-quality, ethical journalism. It shows you support the missions of SPJ and gives your staff the opportunity to become part of the nation’s largest and most broad-based journalism association.

Whether you’re a student media group, a community paper or a digital newsroom, a Newsroom Membership gives you access to SPJ’s amazing training, networking and resources.

A few things to know about our Newsroom Memberships:

They apply to a physical location. So, for example, Joe Johnson who owns 263 community newspapers from coast to coast couldn’t pay $250 and allow all his 6,000 employees join at the discounted rate. Makes sense, right?

There are a limited amount of Gold memberships available this year. We won’t say how many right off the bat – that takes away some of that “VIP” shine, but just know you’re offering newsrooms a few-of-a-kind deal.

We did the hard stuff for you. Here’s an Newsroom Memberships for you to take to your local newsrooms, as well as a nifty application. Consider hosting a brown bag lunch for each local newsroom where your chapter hosts a mini program, maybe a 30 minute rapid fire FOI session, then talks for another few minutes about the benefits of a Newsroom Membership. Don’t forget to mention individual memberships as well.

Need more help? Let us know. We’d love to help you track down some interested local newsrooms or answer any questions you might have.

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Traveling training, drink of choice and fair use

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:

Traveling Training

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.

If anyone finds a replica of @lauranberta’s mug, please mail to SPJ HQ. Attention: Tara Puckey. No, really.

Looks like @marksluckie’s office is always fun…

Our friend @giornalista515 has some Halloween spirit!

This concoction created by Instagramer @verocraker looks, um, delicious.

 

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.

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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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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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