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.



  • qsocety93f


    qsocety93f Thursday, 24 October 2013 17:11 Comment Link
  • bkzhenl09a


    bkzhenl09a Thursday, 24 October 2013 10:42 Comment Link
  • hgjxfqj27g


    hgjxfqj27g Thursday, 24 October 2013 10:35 Comment Link
  • ouetlfa19r


    ouetlfa19r Thursday, 24 October 2013 09:10 Comment Link
  • srctvuy82a

    N0W .

    srctvuy82a Thursday, 24 October 2013 08:43 Comment Link
  • lotUnsetsmutt


    lotUnsetsmutt Friday, 18 October 2013 06:05 Comment Link
  • lotUnsetsmutt


    lotUnsetsmutt Thursday, 17 October 2013 22:53 Comment Link
  • smoopharo

    クォーツ オーバーホールカルティエ コピー時計 人気時計 バンド 調整カルティエ リング 価格カシオ 腕時計 レディースカシオ 腕時計 レディースゼニス オーバーホール時計 楽天腕時計 ブランドディーゼル 時計 修理ディーゼル 時計腕時計 人気時計 時計時計 ブランド 一覧カルティエ アウトレット財布 カルティエカシオ スタンダードカルティエ ラブブレス時計 デジタル時計 ブランド メンズ

    smoopharo Thursday, 17 October 2013 16:41 Comment Link
  • smoopharo

    カルティエ キーリングカシオ 腕時計カルティエ バレリーナ 価格カルティエ 店舗カルティエ 時計腕時計 価格カシオ オシアナス 評価時計 カシオカルティエ ネックレス メンズカルティエ ピアスカルティエ メガネカルティエ キーホルダーcasio 時計カルティエ 手帳カルティエ バックカルティエ コピー時計 検索カルティエ 時計 新作cartier 時計腕 時計

    smoopharo Thursday, 17 October 2013 16:41 Comment Link
  • haseLayendy

    プラダ 13年 新色 一覧 サフィアーノプラダ スタッズ バッグmiumiu チェーンウォレットプラダ カナパ ベージュ黒エナメル プラダセリーヌバッグ トリコプラダ ピオニアミランダカー プラダ レッドプラダ クラッチ リボンプラダ カナパ mサイズ  品番レザー カナパ pradaサエコ シャネルグッチ twill バッグ2012 miumiu bauletto梨花 シャネル ポシェット梨花 ブログ サフィアーノヴィトン シタダンショルダーバッグプラダ リボンポーチコーチ レガシー ミニタナー スタッズmiumiu マドラス 限定プラダ迷彩二つ折り

    haseLayendy Thursday, 17 October 2013 04:35 Comment Link

Leave a comment

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