Joe McQuaid's Publisher's Notebook: We make it easy for people to get the news
Now, the lady of the house is by nature a brilliant woman (witness her spousal selection) and a perceptive reader (look at the local editor), so I knew she spoke the truth, though I wondered ever so-fleetingly if she might just be trying to ensure continued room service.
But, no, as she continued with her observation.
'Do people know about all these stories?''
'Well, um, they do when they read the paper, dear,'' I said politely, while thinking to myself: What do you think? Of course, they do.
But her point was that people are so busy these days with jobs and kids and parents and living that sometimes stories important to their lives don't pop up on their radar.
'How do you let people know about stories, beyond putting them in the paper or on the website?'' she asked.
Again, a good question. Let me count the ways:
1. We put out a morning headlines email. It lists a half-dozen of the top stories. If you get the paper at home or the store, the morning headline service is still a great at-a-glance tool. And it's free to anyone. Just go to UnionLeader.com and scroll to the bottom right of the home page. Click on 'alerts and newsletters.''
2. Twitter. It's not just for tennis stars, politicians and Justin Bieber anymore. When news stories of import break on UnionLeader.com, they get tweeted. Look for the Twitter symbol near the top right of our home page and click on it to sign up.
3. Facebook. That button is right next to the one for Twitter. If you can find room to be friends with your weird cousin Frank or that woman you think you went to high school with, you have room to have the Union Leader on your Facebook account. Again, it's free and convenient.
4. RSS and mobile feeds. At the very top of our home page, click on these and you can have a headline version of UnionLeader.com on whatever PC or mobile device you choose.
The Internet has made life challenging for news organizations, to be sure. And it has thrown a lot of distractions at people who want to stay plugged in but feel overloaded. So we are finding ways to turn the challenge to our advantage, making it easier, we hope, for you to stay informed.
We have also found reader success with our Sunday News week in review, which gives a snapshot look at some of the top New Hampshire stories of the week.
Let me know how we are doing and what other ways might work to serve you.
Write to Joe McQuaid at firstname.lastname@example.org.