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E-mailing results

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Corky Ramirez up on 94th St., Nov 18, 2011.

  1. We have been told from above that starting in the winter season, we only will be accepting high school results in e-mail format. No more phone calls or faxes. If they don't e-mail, we are not to take their results nor will we print them. The rationale is that if they follow a template that we give them ahead of time, it will save them and us time.

    I was just curious if anyone else on here, does this, and if so, what is the success rate? Although we do get some coaches who do e-mail in results, we think this will be a colossal failure to think that we can get 100 percent. "Everyone has a smartphone" is the line we get when we asked how they would do this from the road. Never mind that we cover 32 high schools.

    Thanks for your input.
  2. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    Seems like we've been getting more mail than calls this fall, wonder how it'll go in the winter. With all the technology grants out there, they not only have smartphones, but iPads and similar toys as well.

    We're about a 10K daily that covers eight schools. Finding it quite easy to copy and paste the body of the mail into a NewsEdit file. I also encourage coaches to use the notification service on Maxpreps if they're updating stats right after a game.

    I also like it that I can blame the coaches if the names are spelled wrong :).
  3. sgreenwell

    sgreenwell Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't mind getting all e-mails vs. calls, but it does seem like a bit of a hardline stance to take. When getting game reports, I didn't really care which way I got them, as long as they were on time.
  4. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    If anyone thinks you'll get emails in a timely manner, you'll get a condescending laugh from me.
  5. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    Bingo. For every coach that's on the ball, this just gives another an out to use the old "we got back late" excuse.
    Plus, what do you do if it's a big game that you need to write more than a box score off of? Or if you're on a deadline crunch? I've had plenty of coaches who don't add up their stats right after the game, but you can usually drag enough information out of them in a three-minute phone call to write a 4-inch brief.
    This just sounds like a bad, bad idea.
  6. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    In volleyball we got more e-mails than calls. But in basketball the ratio is flipped, and the phone rings off the hook. Sometimes everyone's on a phone at once and we can't get to any new calls. So I'd be in favor of something like this.
  7. BillyT

    BillyT Active Member

    I just cannot imagine this.

    They are making it harder for people to get their news into the paper.

    Road games are going to be nearly impossible.
  8. reformedhack

    reformedhack Active Member

    I'll add to the pile. This is a bad idea, unless your paper's position is that you don't really care too much about preps.

    Rock-solid fact: Some coaches will submit incomplete or inaccurate results. At least with a call-in, you can ask questions to get the missing information you need.

    Before the season starts, you need to make sure the coaches know what they're expected to submit. Give them a format to follow. This won't be a perfect solution, but it's a good start. Also, make sure you have their cellphone numbers, because you're likely to be doing a lot of follow-up calls on deadline.

    E-mail is both a boon and a bane for the exchange of information. Particularly when it's information from people who don't submit information for a living.
  9. Gator

    Gator Well-Known Member

    We have four high schools that we cover, and we do accept JV results (which we liked emailed). But for varsity, we prefer calls only because we can get 8-10 inches for a brief with a phone call. As our news editor calls it, they're like "little stories."

    And you might get a coach who simply forgets to email the fact that he lost his leading scorer to an injury in the first quarter. Getting all results via email will work, but it won't be very good.
  10. SoCalDude

    SoCalDude Active Member

    We still maintain a significant phone crew, but we require emails for some sports, such as tennis. I've heard a phone guy tell a coach on the phone, sorry, we only accept tennis results by email. I think by about midseason most of the coaches complied.
    We've had schools take a photo of the scorebook or scoresheet and email that, which defeats the purpose of being able to C&P the results. We've also gotten PDFs of scoresheets. Sometimes it's easier to just take the call.
  11. What is frustrating is that you spend all this time building relationships with coaches and schools, and now you're going to tell them my way or the highway? In theory, this could work great. I could understand sending this out and if you get 75 percent of them to adopt to the new style, great. But it's just that, theory. To expect every single one of them — including the coaches who have been there for 30 years and would prefer a slide rule to a calculator in the classroom — to e-mail in results, and then say we won't print your results if you don't, is asinine. I expect this to blow up in our face.
  12. NickMordo

    NickMordo Active Member

    It's the future, though. Many coaches' assistants already keep stats on iPads and the like, so what is that difficult about e-mailing over results? It's not the end of the world, although it does eliminate the need for stringers over time (unless they just compile the results and write wraps).
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