By David Cuillier | June 10th, 2010
A thousand points of light!
Final tally: 32 states, 14,135 miles, 56 sessions, 1,009 people (see schedule)
El Paso, Texas – Finished. Yet, there is so much to do.
I just got home to Tucson on this last day of the tour and I’m happy to say we were able to reach more than a thousand people on this trip! While the tour is over, I realize we have more work to do to foster access in America.
Earlier today, I had the chance to talk with journalists from the Belen and Socorro newspapers in New Mexico. This was one of the few sessions where the publisher sat in. David Puddu is chief operating officer for Number Nine Media. It was great to have him in the session – he truly gets it.
Tip No. 56: David Puddu, publisher of the Valencia County News-Bulletin, El Defensor Chieftain and Mountain View Telegraph, provided this great tip: Reporters should attend training sessions for sales staff to learn techniques for persuading people to do what you want (e.g., hand over records). “Sales skills are critical in this business to save time and get information through the most effective means possible,” he said. For example, one sales tip is to not take “no” for an answer. “You have to find a way.”
Tip No. 57: David Randall, from KTSM-TV in El Paso, provided this tip that I thought was cool. Request a list of all the teachers and substitute teachers in a school district. Then run the names through Facebook and My Space to see their pages. Some have pictures of themselves with bongs or in other situations that would be unbecoming of a teacher. Also run the substitutes through court records. You might find some interesting things! Of course, triple-check to make sure you have the right person matched with the correct inappropriate photo and criminal record.
After the Belen session I did a session for the Rio Grande SPJ chapter in El Paso. It was the last session of the tour, and following that I drove the five hours home to Tucson. Nice! Soon I’ll provide a tour recap here at the blog, outlining some of the things we learned from this national road show – trends and issues I saw throughout the country, along with recommendations for a call to action.