That’s why this last ideaLab mobile reporting day was a bump in the road.
But it’s OK.
This project is about learning. And you aren’t challenging yourself when everything’s just spiffy.
So, here’s what happened…
Last week, I reached out to Rutter’s, a local convenience store chain with more than 55 stores in the region.
I wanted to host meet-ups at some of the locations in the southern part of the county, an area that receives less media attention than, say, York city.
The concept of loitering around a gas station piqued my interest.
I salivated, dreaming about all the oddball characters I might meet.
Earlier in the week, I ran this promo in the paper and online:
On Thursday, I jaunted to Jacobus.
Inside the store, I grabbed some hazelnut creme coffee and sat down at a table with my iPad.
Surprisingly, there was quite a crowd of older gentlemen, some of whom had seem the promotion.
One asked me about this pre-ideaLab attempt at mobile reporting.
Another man strutted into the store with the infamous stack of folders. Any reporter knows what I mean.
Nothing says, “I’ve got a story for you,” like a stack of papers, legal documents, and what have you.
Before I could hear much of his story idea, I got an email from my editor.
I had to head back to the office for a breaking news situation. There wasn’t an option.
I was crushed. Abruptly, I told the man, in much softer terms, “Yo, I have to go.”
I got his phone number and said I’d call him back.
As the day went on, I got calls from other people wondering why I wasn’t where I said I was going to be.
This made me feel worse.
How can these meet-ups accrue accountability if I’m bailing haphazardly?
So, I think, I’m going to re-word my promotion. I’m going to let people know that, as a reporter, things can happen.
When things happen, they can call my cell phone to schedule another appointment.
As for Rutter’s, I’m going back for Round 2 next week, I think.
They have a fabulous marketing director who is willing to let me be a fly on the wall.
(And their coffee is my fave. For reals.)