Luenna Kim, NSNC Director, reported that membership renewals are coming in and she expects an increase later as people send in writing contest entries. Rose Valentia and Bob Haught are busy working on an informative booklet to direct new members to online and other writer’s resources.
“Reconsidering the definition of newspaper columnist” might be a creative way to attract additional new members. In addition to newspaper columnists, we want to include more magazine columnists and op-ed contributors who may not realize they are eligible. Tracy Beckerman mentioned that bloggers who come to the conference are more interested in how to turn blogs into columns than how to be a better bloggers.
Mark your calendar. The contest deadline is earlier this year, March 1st, due to the earlier than usual conference date. Luenna noted that writing contest entries are low at this point, but that is not unusual as people often wait until the last minute to enter. Likewise, Bob Haught, Newsletter Editor, noted it is too early to report on entries for the Will Rogers Humanitarian award.
Ed Grisamore offered an exciting report about his progress in funding the conference. He has several additional speakers under consideration, although the program is almost full. Ed also unveiled the Macon Whoopee 2012 conference logo design to cheers and applause.
Larry Cohen gave a lengthy report on his efforts to pin down a location and date for the 2013 conference. Although planning is in the earliest stages, things are looking positive at this point and the board is already thinking of the next time. Go Larry!
Social media chair, Tracy Beckerman, noted that members do not use Twitter or Facebook much and we should concentrate on using social media to grow membership and interest. A brief segment on how to Tweet and Post is being considered for the conference to show print journalists the benefits of using new media.
There was discussion of the recent death of NSNC’s friend Jeff Zaslow. Board members are anxious to find an appropriate way to honor the memory of our friend. Several different ideas were suggeested and are currently under consideration. Brian O’Connor represented the NSNC at the funeral service in Detroit where over 1500 were in attendance, including Capt. Sully Sullenberger and The Girls from Ames. Thanks again, Brian.
The nominating committee members for this year are Suzette Standring, Bill Tammeus, Dave Lieber, Dave Astor, and Ben Pollock. Offices to be filled are President, Vice President, Newsletter Editor, Web Editor, and Education Chair. The board is actively seeking interested candidates to recommend for all vacant offices and hopes to come up with a slate of excellent candidates soon.