Larry Dorschner

Larry Dorschner

By Dennis Hetzel, Executive Director

The Ohio Newspaper Association is looking for volunteers to serve on its sort-of-new Professional Development Committee.

The committee is a reboot of the Human Resources & Education Committee. The name change is, we think, a better reflection of the committee’s role.  The group’s primary job is to advise ONA staff and the Board of Trustees in developing our annual training program.  This includes in-person seminars and webinars as well as our relationships with other media organizations in which we are able to offer additional training opportunities, often at a discount to members.

Larry Dorschner, publisher of the Lisbon Morning Journal and a member of the ONA Board of Trustees, has agreed to succeed Andrew R. Dix as committee chair. Andrew, the long-time chair and president of Dix Communications Internet, recently expressed a desire to step down.

With time and resources at more of a premium than ever, it also is more important than ever that we be smart and focused about training.  We shouldn’t duplicate offerings that are readily available and easily accessible elsewhere, and we should offer unique, Ohio-focused training that you won’t get anywhere else.

For example, in 2013 we had successful programs that included a journalist’s guide to oil and gas drilling in Ohio and a webinar series on legal issues for Ohio journalists, advertising managers and human resources managers.

When we have a chance to do something really special, we go for it. Such an opportunity is coming on Feb. 13, when we will have a pre-convention workshop in Columbus with Jim Hart, the industry’s leading expert on competing with direct-mail, including companies such as Valassis that now have special deals with the U.S. Postal Service.  We will be revealing more details about our 2013 programming plans soon.

The committee generally holds one or two meetings in the final three months each year and otherwise communicates via phone calls and emails. Committee members are asked to provide feedback at any time when they have an idea for a training program or a way to improve the program, which is done under the auspices of our tax-exempt Ohio Newspapers Foundation.

If you or someone on your staff is interested in being a member of this committee, just let me know at dhetzel@ohionews.org.

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