Home' Local Media Today : October 2005 Contents GETTING STARTED...
Greetings! Like many of you, I returned from the SNA Fall confer-
ence in Denver full of inspiration and armed with many new ideas. It
was a fabulous conference and as always, a great networking oppor-
tunity. I also returned from Denver as your incoming SNA president.
It was about seven years ago when I first saw this coming. I was
president of Community Newspaper Company (CNC), based in
Needham, Massachusetts and carrying on our company’s rich tradi-
tion of SNA involvement. As you know, these roles begin with board
involvement, followed by committee work, which inevitably leads to
moving through the chairs, as they say. Before you know it, you’re
writing the Prez Sez column for the SubPub monthly newspaper and
deliberating over whether to use a current headshot.
The truth is that I’ve been increasingly excited about this opportunity
with each passing year. I’ve observed how SNA has served our
industry and seen companies I manage benefit greatly through partic-
ipation. I’ve been particularly impressed by the growth of our associ-
ation since Nancy Lane joined as executive director. Her appointment
and the subsequent hiring of an exceptionally talented staff have
made an incredible difference. Today SNA is a thriving association,
well-positioned to serve you better than ever.
In light of the importance of great people in our organizations, I
thought I would devote my first column to the “hiring culture” I try
to promote where I work.
I believe managers should be constant talent scouts. It’s a privilege to
have hiring authority in an organization and everyone involved in
that process should see it that way.
In an effort to lead by example, there are a few things I like to do.
One of my favorites occurs when I’m entering our headquarters and
see a person filling out an employment application. I always make it
a point to thank the candidates for their interest in our company and
ask them a few questions. This takes most job-seekers by surprise,
but I’ve received some wonderful feedback as a result. Of course, not
as many applicants “drop off” their resumes these days, which I miss.
Candidates are taught to write a thoughtful follow-up letter once
they’ve had an interview, but I think it makes a statement when the
employer writes to the candidate as well. This isn’t always practical,
but there are times when the situation calls for it. Great candidates
usually have more than one option.
I also like to provide management candidates with a relevant assign-
ment. We were recently overwhelmed with applicants for a senior
position. We asked candidates to answer at least two of three ques-
tions in writing, but to do so in less than a page. It was extremely
helpful in narrowing the field of prospects and jumpstarting our cre-
Finally, I prefer our company executives to make interviewing a part
of their weekly routine instead of waiting until we have an opening.
Quite often I find myself inspired to pursue opportunities I hadn’t yet
planned to pursue simply because a candidate was too good to let get
away. Simply put, we should strive to be proud of the experience we
provide job applicants.
Please know we encourage your feedback on how we’re doing. I’m
based in Quincy, Massachusetts where I serve as president and CEO
of Enterprise NewsMedia LLC. I can be reached via email at
Please make plans to have your newspaper represented at our popular
classified conference in November in Las Vegas. It should be a fan-
SNA Board President
with advertisers to kick off the conference to the
concluding general session about YourHub.com,
SNA staff heard constant feedback that this con-
ference was more than worthwhile. “The SNA
Publisher’s Conference was terrific — full of
sensational colleagues, interesting seminars,
challenging ideas and too many great ideas to
implement on return to the office.”, said Jeanne
Straus, President of Straus Newspapers in
Denver itself boasted beautiful weather with
warm temperatures and brilliant sunshine, almost
showing off with the glorious Rocky Mountains
as its’ backdrop. Conference chairman H.
Harrison Cochran of Aurora Publishing
Company pulled out all the stops to insure that
SNA members found the conference well worth-
while. The SNA group had a reception at the
stunning Governors’ Mansion and sure enough,
mid-way through the evening Governor Bill
Owens dropped in for a visit and gave brief
remarks. Both the Governor and Mayor John
Hickenlooper, who dropped in on the first ses-
sion of day two, extolled the value of suburban
and community newspapers in their markets.
They both encouraged continued focus on issues
of importance and reminded newspaper execs
that they alone are the common thread that keeps
communities informed and chronicled.
Look to the November issue of Suburban
Publisher and SNA online, www.suburban-
news.org, in the coming weeks for coverage of
the many important issues and topics presented
at the conference. And, plan now to attend next
years’ Publishers’ & Ad Directors’ conference in
Save the dates: September 12-15, 2006.
from page 1
Murray Skinner, right, President of Metroland
Printing, Publishing & Distributing chats between
sessions with Greg Bogich, Director of New Business
Development for Valassis.
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