Reporter Cecelia Martinez, who joined the staff March 19, wasted little time in working to connect with the communities she covers, Guilford and Madison. She’s already launched a beat blog, called Register Shoreline Scoop, and is using it to reach out to residents of the two towns.
In addition to letting folks know about key public meetings coming up in the towns, she’s asking residents for their thoughts on what she’s missing. In a blog post this week she even asks “Are you sick of hearing about the Guilford High School Building Committee? Let me know in the comments or at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Here’s more from Cecelia about what she’s doing:
I created the Shoreline Scoop beat blog on April 6 using Blogger. The name came from a Shoreline Scoop Facebook Page, which was previously under the control of former Guilford reporter Susie Misur. At her suggestion, I also included “Register” in the URL for branding. (http://registershorelinescoop.blogspot.com/)
To go along with the blog, I updated the Shoreline Scoop Facebook Page so that it coordinates specifically with Madison and Guilford coverage, and changed the page to the News/Media category instead of a Company Profile. I also created a username for the Page. This will allow me to push out blog posts, solicit story ideas/photos and guest authors for the Shoreline Scoop blog.
I have made two blog posts so far. The first is a welcome post that included a list of what types of updates readers can expect (advance notice of important meetings, photos, community events, honor roll, etc.) as well as a call to action for people to submit ideas, photos and recommendations for guest authors. The second is a “This Week in Meetings” post that I plan to make every Monday, offering a look at the meetings I plan on attending or otherwise covering, with a brief explanation of why they’re important and a link to agendas. In the future I plan to also link to any related stories on our website.
In addition to promoting blog posts on the Shoreline Scoop Facebook Page, I have also posted about the blog on my professional Facebook profile and on my Twitter account. I have included either a call to action or a specific comment when posting a link to the blog or a post, and not just the link.
According to Blogger stats, there have been 16 pageviews for the welcome post, 13 page views for the “This Week in Meetings” post and 89 overall in the past four days. Traffic sources indicate that the Facebook links are bringing in the highest number of referrals, which indicates I need to work on getting more local Twitter followers.
My goal is to post at least three times per week on the blog on at least three separate days.
My other planned posts for this week include a quick update on a pending court case that wouldn’t otherwise warrant a full story, the publishing of the Country School honor roll and a “meetings leftover” post at the end of the week that recaps notes from meetings that didn’t make it into my actual stories. I also hope to make this a regular feature of the blog if it is well-received.