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Is it a good idea to . . .

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by SoSueMe, Jan 25, 2007.

  1. SoSueMe

    SoSueMe Active Member

    . . . meet with coaches, well-known sports administers, SIDs et al when you first arrive in a new town at a new job?

    I've often sent out introductory e-mails to those folks' respective addresses, after I've culled them from websites. Usually, it's just a note to say hello, here's my e-mail address and phone number. Call if you have news, questions or problems.

    But I'm wondering, is it good/better to meet with these folks in person? Or, is the e-mail idea a bad one, at that?

    I remember my very first job, the local hockey coach wanted to meet me immediately (and I started in May). We went for coffee, he ended the "meeting" with a statement like "we'll get along fine. I already like you."

    After a month into the season (which started in Sept.), I quickly realized he was buttering me up because I think even he knew he was in over his head as a head coach. He had talent on his team, but few wins and even less effort from the players.

    I don't want to be viewed as trying to "butter up" the local sports circle.

    Thoughts from out there in SportsJournalists.com-land?
  2. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    I think the e-mails are fine, and then meet them as appropriate.

    Introducing yourself to somebody you'll be covering isn't "buttering them up," and if they perceive it that way, it's their problem.
  3. RedCanuck

    RedCanuck Active Member

    Meeting someone face-to-face can't hurt, that way the first time you're at the field or rink, whatever, you don't have to ask around and you already have a small bit of a rapport at the very least with them.

    Maybe they will try to butter you up, but you'll detect that.
  4. SixToe

    SixToe Well-Known Member

    Why not go by and meet them face-to-face to introduce yourself in person?

    Couldn't hurt. Shows you're interested in knowing who they are and you'll be the one they deal with while you're there.

    An email wouldn't hurt, either, because then you might get their address to have on file. But yours also could get deleted or shuttled off to neverland by a secretary.
  5. Idaho

    Idaho Active Member

    It's a great idea to send the emails and try to arrange face-to-face meetings with the high profile people on your beats.

    heck, when I made a new hire at my old paper and he was covering a beat, I took him with me on his first day at work and introduced them. Then I left the room to let them chat.
  6. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    The second time I introduced myself to a new beat was during the summer when the coaches were volunteering to build a new ambulance station.

    BANG BANG BANG! "Hi coach, I'm the new reporter."

    BANG BANG! "What?"

    BANG BANG BANG! "The new reporter."

    BANG! "Oh, hello."

    BANG! BANG! "So what do think about the fall schedule?"

    BANG! BANG! BANG! "Hooterville will be tougher than last year, and we've got to go there. Pixley will be our toughest non-conference opponent."
  7. ColbertNation

    ColbertNation Member

    I did this. The area ADs had a lunch meeting at the beginning of the school year, and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to introduce myself, get their input, let them know what we were trying to do, etc...
    Everybody seemed very on-board with me (very nice, friendly, even joking). I thought it was the smartest thing I'd ever done. I can count on one hand the number of phone calls they've returned to me since then. Basically, the only time I expect to hear from them now is if they need something or they're mad at me.
    That said, it can never hurt to try.
  8. ...almost never is.
  9. Babs

    Babs Member

    Absolutely you should meet with them. It will help immensely in understanding where they are coming from later on.
  10. I had a professor say it was always good to meet as many people in person as you could. His logic was you're more likely to get a response when you have to call them at 3 a.m. because of breaking news (this guy was on the news side, but I think it still applies) if you are a person with a face instead of just a new to a (future) source.
    I have tried to follow that and have had some success.
  11. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    You're meeting the people on your beat. That's not buttering up, it's working. Nothing wrong with it.
  12. John

    John Well-Known Member

    Send them all Claxton fruit cakes.
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