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Publications Committee... Where are you???


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Now that I have found this forum, one thing you will learn about me (if you already haven't sensed it) is that I take my newsletter very serious and there is no question I'm afraid to ask or any answer I'm afraid to receive.<P>I feel that I have already (in my short time on board) posted two subjects of concern and/or interest to ALL A.A.C.A. Editors... the Newsletter Contest and the Exchange of Newsletters. I have learned something from each posting I have made, thanks to the replies from my fellow Editors.<P>One thing I have noticed is that there have been no replies from a member of the Publications Committee! I'm not interested in any of the Committee's members endorsing my ideas, I'm interested in their point of view on these subjects!<P>What do you think? Am I out of line here?<P>------------------<BR>Ron Springstead, Editor<BR><I>The Schoharie Valley Rambler</I>

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Ron, You are not out of line - you are just similar to the problems of the DF - impatient. The DF operates well ahead of the "normal" world. We want answers yesterday. I recall only a few years ago when only two of the National Directors were on the net. Few even owned a computer. This has changed. Now only two Directors do not have a computer, but the others are still playing catch-up. Keep up the discussion - it's sort of like the Field of Dreams - build it and they will come.

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Ron S.,<BR> The application form that we all received has the committee guidelines included. These are also emphasized at the newsletter seminar. In the interest of fairness to all participants, would it be appropriate for the committee members to comment here to just a few of us? I believe that your progression in the contest to the Award of Excellence demonstrates that you are on equal footing with the other participants. Perhaps the selection as a Master Editor requires something a little unique that causes your newsletter to stand out from the others selected for the Excellence Award. By participating in the newsletter exchange you may be able to identify that unique extra. One year I was privileged to receive an article written by an elderly gentleman who traveled cross country in a Model T in the 1920s. I found it to be a fascinating story and think that perhaps the committee did also. The fact that you have received the Award of Excellence tells me that you have the basics. Now try for something a little extra. It's there for you and I suspect you'll find it!<P>jnp

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I suspect that you both are correct in your comments! Since I have "discovered" the forum, I guess that I assumed that every AACA member finds it as interesting as I have. Where I used to come home from work and check my E-mail, I now try to check out the forum for new postings in addition.<P>In the future, I will try to contain my excitement and not come across so agressive as to turn people off. However, I still feel that when you have a section of the forum devoted to newsletter Editors, the Publications Committee should show an interest in the Editors' comments and respond accordingly.<P>One thing I find very valuable is that the exchange of information found here is much better than waiting for someone to put it in writing, waiting to have it printed and finally have it mailed out.<P>I'm sorry if I've been impatient and I will try to improve. By the same token, I think we could all benefit from replies from members of the Committee.<BR><P>------------------<BR>Ron Springstead, Editor<BR><I>The Schoharie Valley Rambler</I>

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Ron, Please DON'T contain your excitement. The effectiveness of this DF depends on the excitement of the forum users. As a former member of the Publications Committee I can offer some comments, but they do no necessarily represent the opinions of the current members. As for this DF, please be patient. As I said previously, build the forum and they will come. <p>[This message has been edited by ronbarn (edited 04-01-2001).]

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Heck no, don't try to contain that excitement, its what keeps this going! Does input from "former" committee members count/help? I really enjoyed my turn reading the "Rambler" and I know Ron Springstead is passionate about the newsletter, the club and the old car hobby. <P>I know when I was on the committee, the Master Editors were those whose newsletters were consistently outstanding in a variety of ways - chiefly in doing their number one job, promoting the club and its membership. That means there has got to be lots of stuff about members - members names, features, stories, and even contributions from them. I always tried to evaluate each issue on the basis of how it would make me feel as a member. What that means is that each individual issue would/should be of great value to the membership. A brand new member to the club, or even the area, should be able to pick up any single issue and know about the club, how it operates, whats happening, who to contact, what to expect, details of coming attractions, encouragement/enticement to participate, reports of past activities that give the flavor of the event and club, and lots of info about other members and their vehicles. The newsletter should be politically neutral and "stress-free." One thing I always felt detracted significantly was complaining by an editor about never getting contributions, or by anyone, especially club officers or even the president, about members not participating. Another thing that I felt important was consistency - having a consistently outstanding product, not just a string of great issues, then one or two just so-so.<P>Id like to make a recommendation to any Region to get their editor to the Annual Meeting - the Newsletter Seminar at Philadelphia is so darned good and the info is really valuable. We plan to offer a Newsletter Seminar also "on the road" at the Rochester MN meet too. Attendance is highly recommended and would benefit any editor. I think anyone attending the Annual Meeting who represents a region should be there to take notes if the editor cant make it. Im going to ask Dave Z to consider video taping a couple of future seminars and then making the tapes available to anyone who wants them. <BR>Terry

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Hey Terry,<P>I think your input and ideas certainly are valuable! Thank you for your kind words about the "Rambler" and your multipage letter that helped me and my Region survive a really difficult situation when you were part of the Publications Committee.<P>I'll spare you all the details, suffice it to say that one member put his wants & needs above those of the Region. I reported the crisis in my newsletter, feeling that ALL members had a right to know what was going on. I came close to quitting as Editor and the Region came close to disolving.<P>I wrote to Terry, asking if my reporting was responsible for being knocked down to an Award of Distinction after receiving an Award of Excellence the year before.<P>Terry's reply gave me new hope and I continued on as Editor. I like to think that my new outlook was reflected in the newsletter and was responsible for our Region remaining intact. Today, we are getting healthy again and the dark days have passed.<P>In closing, I think that Terry Bond has tremendous insight and great ideas that he is willing to share with any Editor. When he replies to a forum topic, read it carefully!<P>I have never met Terry in person but I feel like he is an old friend.<P>One final question to all... Do you think that attending the Annual Meeting carries some weight with the Publications Committee on what level of award the Editors receive?<P>------------------<BR>Ron Springstead, Editor<BR><I>The Schoharie Valley Rambler</I>

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Ron,<P>I believe the answer to your question in regards to attending the Annual Meeting is YES and NO.<P>YES in the fact, that as Mr. Bond states, the publications seminar presets valuable information and advice. I have attended the seminar every year that we have attended the Annual Meeting and always learn something new and/or pick up some new idea to consider.<P>NO in the fact that, not knowing the publications committee members personally..but knowing of several of the people by their reputation and their documented committment to the AACA in the past, I believe they would give everyone a fair shake, whether you are attending the seminar or not. Because there is no registration to the individual seminars, it is a walk-in thing.. there is no way of knowing everyone who attends anyway.

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BruceW, I attend the newsletter seminar every year. I was a speaker in 2000, at the request of Terry Bond. I said I would write something for the Rummage Box and never got arround to doing it, so I decided that since I committed and Terry was in need, I would give it a go. My topic was finding material for your newsletter. I have not always had luck getting members to write, so I use things from the Rummage Box, AACA Museum, NHTSA, USDOT, NYSDMV, AAA, old issues of my newsletter and even an article on the manufacture of license plates in NYS prisons from my state employee union newsletter. (I am an employee of NYS, I work for the Lottery.)SalG

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Ron, Attending the Annual Meeting will give you the opportunity to learn some things but will not have any impact on your standing for recognition. Attend a couple of the Annual Meetins and you will understand this.

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Sal<BR>I remember your talk last year on finding material for newsletters at the Annual Meeting and I still have your handouts from that. It was a very good talk. <BR>The Publications Seminar is one I always make time for every year. <P>I see that Mr. Barnett's comments confirm what I thought in regards to any favoritism to seminar participants. In the short 10 years as an AACA member, I've learned to believe if a comment has R. Barnett's name to it then you can take that comment to the bank! smile.gif<P>[This message has been edited by BruceW (edited 04-03-2001).]<p>[This message has been edited by BruceW (edited 04-03-2001).]

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I can testify to the fact that you don't have to be a regular National attendee to get a Master Editor Award. The first time we went to National was to PICK UP our award. Of course, once you've gone, you'll want to go again!<P>The newsletter seminar has always been a "must" for us. We've gotten so many ideas from the other editors, both from those presenting and those present. And imagine the sympathy you'll get from others in the same situation you find yourself in -- that's worth the price of admittance alone!<P>Terry Bond really knows what he's talking about, and is ALWAYS willing to provide that pep talk just when you need it. He is a true inspiration, as are many of the others on the publications committee. He is very persuasive, though, so you may find yourself volunteering for something if you spend too much time with him! smile.gif<P>What I like best about National is putting the faces with the names. And this year, I got to meet some of the DFers, too.<P>Jan K.<P>

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For the record. BruceW is not a friend or family member, and he has not been given anything of value for his kind words.<BR>Seriously, it was my pleasure to do it, and Terry & Dave Z know I will do it again. SalG smile.gif<p>[This message has been edited by SalG (edited 04-04-2001).]

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Refering back to your original post as you expect everyone to do, I see that you take your position as a newsletter editor VERY seriously. I suppose that entitles you to refer to postings by others on other forums as CRAP. Your words, not mine.<P>You might as well stay on here patting yourself on the back because it will be a cold day in h*** before you get too much response to appeals for help or information on the general forum.<P>MF

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Sorry you feel that way, Mike, but your post is just another example of comments that have nothing to do with the original question and that's what I was referring to in the General Forum about the DC at Hershey.<P>AACA already stated that the DC would be included at ALL National Meets EXCEPT Hershey. To my way of thinking, concerns about parking, etc. at other smaller National Meets have nothing to do with the original question. Put these concerns in the form of your own posting!<P>I suppose that would be too much trouble for someone who can't be bothered to register in the DF.<P>Now that I've replied to your reply and it has nothing to do with the original question, please feel free to classify it to as CRAP, which I'm sure you will!<P> <P>------------------<BR>Ron Springstead, Editor<BR><I>The Schoharie Valley Rambler</I>

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Ron,<BR> First copy of the Schoharie Valley Rambler arrived today. Thanks! I like your use of color. The motorcycle pictures are great! Also like the layout of "Showtime" and your classifieds. A couple years ago at the newsletter seminar, one of the presentations was on page formatting. I found that very helpful. Does anyone have those handouts?<P>jnp

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All Editor DF'ers, This has been a good exchange of ideas and comments. I hope what I have added has been constructive. Not all people have added positive things. I know I have said things that are not always up beat over the past years. I try to make this a better DF, too bad not every has done the same. For the most part those who disgree use their own name and do not hid as unregistered. SalG

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