Crazy that it’s been a month since we all gathered in Nashville for our annual summer convention. A great time was had by all (and if you didn’t, well, I can’t help you!).

We came home with at least a couple story ideas, a new digital tool or two to try out, and thoughts about how to increase online subscriptions. Upon our returns to whatever nook and cranny of the country we live in, however, we’ve jumped right back into the fray.

Breaking news, web pushes and alerts, print deadlines, final details for football preview content, coverage plans for fall sports, figuring out how much money is left in the budget …

Whew.

If you’re like me, it’s tough to keep momentum going sometimes. Even though you’ve taken that one step forward, the daily grind can derail even the best-laid plans. The camera isn’t working. A stringer called in sick. I have this cool story thought, but no idea how to put it together and no time to think about it until next week. My designer at the hub might kill me – or I might kill my designer at the hub. Depends on who leaves their chair first.

Dan Spears

This is tough for any news outlet, but especially for those on the smaller side. Some of us have few, if any, avenues for delegation. Other editors might have eager help, but no expertise to fall back on. What are our priorities? What are we lacking?

Over the next year, I’m hoping we can help solve some of those problems.

Starting in September, APSE will be holding a monthly online gathering to discuss issues that are most important to our smallest departments. It’ll be a 30-minute session, on subjects you’ve told us are critical to your mission. Your colleagues will be a part of the plan, telling their stories of success and failure, and providing resources to make you better at your job.

To get off on the right foot, we need your feedback. If you fall into the smallest APSE circulation or contest category, we’ve created a small questionnaire to fill out.

Less than 10 minutes, I promise. Your answers will help us to answer your biggest questions quickly.

In between sessions, though, don’t be afraid to reach out. If you’re not a member of the APSE Facebook and the APSE Digital Facebook groups, make sure to request access right away. There are plenty of good conversations about a variety of subjects to help you in a pinch. If you’ve got a problem and are thinking, “Man, this is a dumb question and I don’t want to look like a moron in front of everyone” – don’t.

also encourage anyone at our small outlets to reach out to me if you have a question or problem – from project reporting to access issues and everything in between. After all, that’s why I’m in this role with APSE and looking forward to the next 23 months helping as much as I can.

All the best,

Dan

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