APSE Regions Committee report
Posted on Feb. 15, 2006
Updated on July 13, 2008
SECTION 1: Basic Job Requirements
- Be responsible for the planning and execution of the region meeting. According to APSE bylaws, each region is required to have at least one meeting per year. This is the most important duty of the region chair – creating a relevant, successful meeting that gives sports editors a forum to exchange ideas and improve their craft.
- Provide region reports for every online newsletter. Each region should have something in every issue. The region chair will be responsible for collecting information and providing it to the person in charge of the online newsletter.
- Provide movements from the region for the online newsletter. This means the chair must stay on top of the job changes in the region and get the information to the person responsible for collecting movements for the online newsletter.
- Identify and recruit potential small-paper members for contest judging each year. A region chair should begin this process with the region meeting by looking for promising future leaders in the region who will not only be an asset to the judging pool but also benefit from the experience.
- Be an advocate as well as a reporter for your region. This includes duties such as writing a 10- to 12-inch report off each region meeting, providing story ideas for the newsletter off events or trends in your region, or doing updates for the APSE Web site if news occurs outside the newsletter cycle.
- Be a part of the executive committee. The executive committee votes on issues related to the organization. There are four meetings each year – one before the national convention, one immediately after and two at the winter judging. This would mean at the very least attending the national convention, and hopefully both the convention and judging. That would require getting a prior commitment from the chair’s newspaper to pay the chair’s way before election. Failing that, the chair should recruit national APSE leaders to speak with their editors about the importance of the region chair attending the national events. Attending the convention is critical to both representing the region and gaining ideas for putting on the regional meeting.
SECTION 2: Additional Duties
- Identify the future leaders in the region. Help recruit future region chairs and vice chairs by finding promising potential leaders who will willingly accept the duties of the region chair. Cultivate these future leaders by mentoring them and guiding them into the organization.
- Be responsible for recruiting new members for APSE. This will require some extra work, including things such as obtaining a list of all non-members or papers in the region and contacting them to sell them on the benefits of APSE. If non-members attend the region meeting, sit down with each one and try to recruit them one-on-one. As members leave the region, contact their replacements and make sure they stay with the organization. If papers and media companies let their memberships lapse, get in touch with them and try to re-establish their memberships.
- Take on an active role in voting for the national election. This can be done by soliciting votes from members and educating them on the importance of the election. Direct them to candidate bios, answer questions about specific candidates and work to get full participation in the election from each region.
- Set up a critique process within the region, whether it is an exchange of ideas between sports editors or a formalized session at the region meeting.
- Run a contest at the regional level. This is especially beneficial for smaller papers. Many regions already do them, but it’s not consistent. A small-scale contest patterned after the national contest or state contests can be extremely helpful to recruiting new members.
The Regional Meeting
Successful region meetings are critical to the future of the organization and to the development of sports journalism in general. It is important to make it relevant to the smaller papers in the region, which are the backbone of APSE. Here are some suggestions for putting on a successful, relevant and entertaining region meeting:
- Schedule it around a popular sports event or media days – something that smaller papers will attend anyway, so there is no additional cost. All papers have limited budgets in this day and age, so find ways to make it as easy on them as possible to attend.
- Look for a centrally located site that will attract more papers, especially in regions that are spread out. No place will be completely convenient, but try to find a location that is accessible to as many papers as possible.
- Promote the region meeting through wire advisories, e-mails, phone calls.
- Find additional ways to keep the costs down, like having a member paper host the meetings so you will not have to spring for an additional room at the hotel. Work out deals with hotels around the events you are already covering for bulk rates.
- Have an agenda that will pique interest. Some ways to do that include critiques, workshops, handouts, high-profile editors/writers columnists from big papers as panelists, high-profile keynote speakers, etc. Contact other region chairs and ask them for ideas from what has been popular in other meetings.
- Have fun with it. Give people a fun social experience as well as an educational one. Regions have had outings at baseball games, poker tournaments, parties and other social events with great success. Schedule some time where members can enjoy themselves and hold discussions in a non-formal setting that makes the overall experience more enjoyable.
- Actively recruit papers of all sizes to participate in the planning and execution as well as attending. The more editors you get involved in the agenda, the more will attend.
- Put on workshops. APSE will free up funds to send APSE workshops to the region meetings. These can be useful tools for member papers and help draw attendees to the meeting.
- Take advantage of the funds budgeted by APSE. Money is available for the region meeting. Check with the APSE president or the secretary-treasurer regarding available funds for region meetings. APSE will not pay for food and drink, but will pay for travel expenses and room rentals, when necessary.
- If not doing a workshop, make the critique sessions part of this meeting. Some of this process needs to take place ahead of time – send the papers around in advance and give editors the chance to give them more than a passing glance. Recruit active members in the region to help. They should make the critiques useful and forward-looking with big-picture suggestions.