That hasn’t really been the case in my three-plus years back at The Cadiz Record. If anything, it’s been the exact opposite, and while your grandmother might call it “being polite.” it can actually make my job harder.
On the positive side, I’ve always found contests to be one of the best ways for newspapers to get a feel for what kind of people are reading. That was the driving force behind our first-ever Readers Choice Awards, the results of which can be found in a special section accompanying this issue.
Not only did the contest give our readers the chance to vote for their favorite local businesses and individuals in over 60 categories, but it also served as an opportunity for us to connect with our readers in a way that gave them direct input into our product.
I was pleased with the response the contest generated and look forward to the second-ever Readers Choice Awards next year. We’ve already received a few suggestions for new categories to be added, and we’re happy to accept more.
On that “being polite” note I mentioned earlier, I really got that feeling while counting the votes. In many categories, the number of candidates reached double-digits, and the final margin in several areas could be counted on one hand.
To me, that indicates two things, both of which I think are true.
1. There are many top-notch businesses and individuals in our community, all of which deserve recognition.
2. Some readers bypassed what may have seemed like an obvious vote in some categories in favor of selecting a person or business that may not get as much attention as others.
Our readers’ voting habits may have also been driven by other forces, but regardless, it made for an entertaining contest that I hope will grow starting next year.
Back to feedback:
On the negative side, an abundance of positive feedback can be deceiving.
I long ago resigned myself to the fact that I – along with the staffs of all other newspapers and media outlets – will never satisfy everyone. It’s hard enough to satisfy the majority of your target audience.
In a majority-rules society, hearing only about the good leaves us with little indication of what might be bad or how to confront it.
Don’t misunderstand my point, because it is very rare for newspaper professionals to receive ANY positive feedback, let alone a majority of it. If you like what we’re doing in The Cadiz Record, let me know.
If you see something you don’t like or don’t see something you think should be in the Record, don’t sit on your hands. Don’t hold on to that info with the plans of hitting me with it the next time we happen to cross paths. Call me. Email me. Stop by the office.
I’m not hard to find.
Informing our readers comes first, but we know how you like to brag on everyone that deserves it, and we share that desire. But we can’t read your mind. So speak it.
Justin McGill is the general manager of The Cadiz Record and can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.