By Karen T. Braeckel
Board retreats occur to allow members to dream, look at the future of organizations and simply try to make things better.
(You won’t find this in any respectable management textbook. You just read commonspeak.)
During one of these idea sessions Oct. 10-11 in Brown County, the members of the HSPA and Foundation boards of directors decided to improve opportunities for both students and newspapers.
In that vein the Foundation will add an advertising internship program with a twist.
While details remain to be worked out, the program will begin in 2014. The Foundation’s role includes recruiting students from the Midwest, setting up the application and selection process, and providing a two-day sales training program for the students before they begin.
Now you see the twist.
The Foundation’s Eugene S. Pulliam Internship program offers a $3,300 stipend to each student-reporter or -photographer going into an HSPA member’s newsroom. Advertising interns, however, will mean an additional salesperson or designer – and hopefully increased revenue for the host newspaper during the summer.
Participating newspapers must agree to pay sales interns minimum wage plus commission (at a rate the paper establishes) for a minimum of eight 40-hour weeks. (Pulliam internships run for 10 weeks.) If the ad department wants a graphic designer, commission does not apply.
Advertising directors may set the actual work dates with the student after selection. University schedules vary as do students’ academic and/or family commitments.
Before the end of 2013, newspapers will receive information about applying for an intern.
The Foundation will notify business and journalism schools of the openings available and ask students to rank those newspapers where they could work and find housing. (Many serious Pulliam applicants are willing to relocate anywhere in state, an option for advertising interns as well.)
The selection process also will differ from the Pulliam interns. Rather than the editors who hosted interns the summer before serving on the selection committee, the ad directors who will hire the students will chose from the applicant pool.
Unless only a few students apply, the Foundation will set a day ad directors can review all applications at the HSPA office.
The joint boards recommended this program to help newspapers find qualified applicants. Some publishers and ad directors budget for interns but cannot find the students.
The Foundation created a list of advisers at Indiana and other Midwest colleges and universities with journalism and communication programs.
School newspapers also have advertising sales staff members. HSPA staff will create a new list of business schools to contact for the program.
Watch for more information in November when Job Fair and Pulliam Internship material also will come.
Look for the Newsroom Seminar brochure accompanied by a list of winners from your paper in the coming week. Click here for registration information.
In an effort to help both advertising and editorial staffs streamline preparation of their contest entries, the Foundation introduces contest scrapbooks to members. These free, cloud-based storage folders hold PDF, txt, doc, jpg, gif and png files through the Better Newspaper Contest website.
Now instead of scurrying around at the last-minute like a squirrel that forgot to stockpile for winter, contestant coordinators or individuals can file up to 500mb of attachments in 10 folders throughout the year.
When the contest deadline nears, the coordinator can access the files already saved and enter them digitally. (Some categories will still be judged in hardcopy.)
SmallTownPapers, designers of the Better Newspaper Contest digital entry-and-judging website, offers this service to those organizations under contract with them. (Currently 134 media organizations use this online journalism contest.)
Those interested in more details may click here.
Those who did not participate this year may find this tool an easy way to organize their best work as the year progresses. If your paper did not enter due to time constraints, please give this a shot.
Karen T. Braeckel is director of the HSPA Foundation. Her column runs in the second issue of each month.