I was reminded again this past week how important it is for media producers to listen carefully to media consumers, a.k.a. You.
I walked into the office Monday morning and was told about the turkeys that went missing from Northview High School.
It was starting to be a slow week so I thought the missing turkey story would be an informative, light-hearted, fairly short story about turkeys that people would find interesting and entertaining.
ARRRGH! (That’s the buzzer for “wrong answer.”)
Even when I learned in the afternoon the birds had been dispatched by an air rifle, it never dawned on me that more than a couple hundred people at most would care. And those folks would probably just think, “Oh, that’s what happened. Let me see what The Family Circus kids are doing” and turn to the entertainment page.
Not so fast.
People by the hundreds, maybe thousands, cared about those birds.
Even in our office, where we deal with death and dying every day, the turkeys drew attention.
Thirteen thousand views on Facebook, 7,000 views on our web page, www.thebraziltimes.com.
When Mr. Backs of the DNR and I concluded our interview about the birds he said, “You are going to write this in such a way I don’t get a lot of calls, right?”
Who cares about three turkeys who are no longer a menace to society? Right?
I mean, I would miss it if our family didn’t have turkey on Thanksgiving. This year, the annual gathering was at our house and I loved having the leftovers!
Turkeys are dinner on the wing, right?
One of the basic tenets of any kind of media is, “Know your audience. What your audience cares about is what you should care about.”
Even when I think my finger is on the pulse of Clay County, something like the missing turkeys story comes along and lights up our readers.
Thanks for the reminder — no matter how hard we try, we cannot try hard enough to cover the news you want to be covered.
So, I’ll try harder! You are the audience. You are the stars of this newspaper. You are the ones who matter.