Press and Journal

Switch to desktop Register Login

Eric Wise

Eric Wise is a stay-at-home dad with three children, ages 11, 9 and 3. He was formerly a reporter for the now-defunct Hershey Chronicle newspaper, and he has 10 years of experience in public relations with four different statewide associations. His home improvement column, "Around the House," appeared in daily and weekly newspapers around Pennsylvania from 2007 to 2009. He is a graduate of Hershey Senior High School and Elizabethtown College. He enjoys reading, playing guitar and photography. 

Is this some kind of stunt? What are you people trying to accomplish over there?

Rate this item
(0 votes)

I bet some of you have, at one time or another, taken some type of audience survey. Web sites and magazines survey readers all the time about their experience to find out what they liked and didn't like.


As a reporter and publications editor, I have been through many of these. Sometimes the process gets agonizing when the number of people involved grows larger and larger. Everyone has his or her own idea what to include, when to ask it and how it should be worded. I understand that many types of questions allow you to gather information that you might want. At the same time, the wording of questions influences the answers. You see this all the time from political surveys and special interest groups who just happen to conduct surveys that confirm their bias.


At times, I have gathered some information about readers through these surveys. For my own purposes, I have done my own survey with a focus group that was quick and cost very little. I bought a cheap pack or two of magic markers. I gave everyone in the group a copy of the publication, a magic marker and an envelope to fit the publication. I simply asked the focus group to circle exactly what they read and mail it back to me. This humbling experience gave me insight into how much time people spent with the publication, what they actually read, and what drew their attention. In a questionnaire, few people will say, "I read two articles, and glance at some photos, headlines and captions as I page through the rest of the issue." The magic marker survey told me that.

But I also liked those longer surveys, too. The best part about them was that the boss (sometimes a publisher, an executive vice president or department head) was so interested that he or she collected the surveys and sat down for a few hours to scour, dissect and digest the results. Most importantly, this kept him or her out of my hair and allowed me to concentrate for a couple hours.


When it comes to finding out what people want to read about, hear about and watch on TV or a movie, it's actually very difficult to get them to tell you exactly what they want. "Oh, I don't know," say some, while others might rattle off their favorites and tell you do "something like that."


I found the answer to this question in the middle of my career, and it's simpler than you think. In fact, it's so simple that a three-year-old could tell you (they might even tell you clearer than some adults!). Here it is: "Tell me a good story."


Telling a good story is a simple concept, yet it takes a lot of work. It's not easy to find truly great stories and be able to write about all of them. Your editor will give you a shot glass, and you go to Niagara Falls and bring back the best water. Yet that's the way I look at producing articles, columns and blogs.


There you have it. In my Press And Journal community blog, I will be posting as I can. I hope that my posts tell you a good story, provide some interesting tidbit that you never heard before, or give you a nugget of an idea to think about for the day. Thanks for reading, and I will see you back here soon.



  • fte2iche8j7


    iphone4s ケース 値下げ
    クロムハーツ tシャツ
    ニューバランス 574 2013

    fte2iche8j7 Wednesday, 15 January 2014 15:12 Comment Link
  • ngo7jsyo4s9


    ngo7jsyo4s9 Wednesday, 15 January 2014 14:58 Comment Link
  • dki4eybj3m4


    dki4eybj3m4 Wednesday, 15 January 2014 11:23 Comment Link
  • ouw2zedi1h7


    クロムハーツ 店舗 海外
    au iphone アプリ

    ouw2zedi1h7 Wednesday, 15 January 2014 08:34 Comment Link
  • qho2dngb1c6


    iphone ケース バンパー
    クロエ 財布 店舗

    qho2dngb1c6 Wednesday, 15 January 2014 06:44 Comment Link
  • omxwwpn

    vintage arizona diamondbacks jerseys gucci borse replica chanel bags chanel online store Book those return flights 21 days in advance and your bill is $689.68. Taxes and fees are 36 per cent of the total. Comparison: San Diego Sacramento, New York Washington DC, Buffalo Chicago, Seattle Spokane and Milwaukee Des Moines. Denali National Park is located four hour's to the south. Boating and fishing trips on the Yukon River can be arranged through the resorts office. Watch for moose and bears while staying at the campground..

    authentic indiana pacers jerseys replica chanel UK Signed 4506T formOnly qualified borrowers will be accessible the HAMP loan modification and may get an interest rate as low as 2% and a very affordable mortgage payment. Homeowners who desire to increase their chances of qualifying for a Bank of America loan modification should make certain that their financial statement all the income and debts fit into this mathematical method for HAMP approval. If not sure how to figure this out, google borrowers can use a software program that mimics the federal procedure and be certain that their calculations are accurate and acceptable..


    omxwwpn Wednesday, 15 January 2014 05:43 Comment Link
  • luf4hdqp3f8


    new balance nb a20
    iphone5 カバー アニメ
    ニューバランス m992

    luf4hdqp3f8 Wednesday, 15 January 2014 05:40 Comment Link
  • zhv5qchu9j6


    zhv5qchu9j6 Tuesday, 14 January 2014 21:49 Comment Link
  • mpv8imxi3s6


    クロエ リリー 財布
    クロムハーツ 表参道
    new balance m1400 サイズ感

    mpv8imxi3s6 Tuesday, 14 January 2014 10:15 Comment Link
  • vql6cxbo3m2


    クロムハーツ メガネ 偽物
    クロムハーツ 店舗
    ドコモ iphone4s

    vql6cxbo3m2 Tuesday, 14 January 2014 05:40 Comment Link

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated. HTML code is not allowed.