Monday, July 23, 2012

It's nice to be recognized

I am proud of the work my staff at The Record does on a daily basis.

They work hard, they juggle a lot, and they have come a long way in the past two years as we transitioned to a multi-platform, Digital First philosophy for producing content.

In addition to their print responsibilities, they routinely shoot and edit video, live blog from events, post story updates directly to, interact with their audience on a variety of platforms, send out text messages with breaking news alerts directly to your phones, partner with local organizations to sponsor events that benefit this community, etc.

It can be exhausting, but it's also been an exhilarating two years.

Having said all that, it's particularly nice when others salute their work.

In Metroland's "Best of the Capital Region 2012" edition, City Editor Jim Franco and Bob Goepfert, content coordinator for weekender, our weekly entertainment product, are recognized in the media category.

Jim is named "Best Print Columnist," while Bob gets the nod for "Best Print Arts Writer."

As many of you know, Jim writes our popular, political column "Talespin," which appears in our print edition on Mondays and is updated daily on our website. He is also the recipient of various awards from the Associated Press and the New York News Publishers Association.

In recognition of Jim's efforts, Metroland writes:
"We find ourselves getting a lot of enjoyment (and gleaning much useful info) from James V. Franco's Talespin column. Troy politics are endlessly entertaining, and Franco helps us keep up."

Bob, who headed up Albany's Palace Theatre for many years and who has written for The Record's entertainment products for several decades, took on content coordinating responsibilities for our arts coverage a few years ago following the death of our longtime features editor Doug deLisle. In addition, Bob writes "The Arts Whisperer" blog on our website and is an award-winning theater director.

About Bob, Metroland writes:
"Bob Goepfert's interviews and profiles get at the heart of the subject at hand, and his theater criticism is excellent. He has a lot of ground to cover, and he covers it well. A must read."

Congratulations gentlemen, and thanks Metroland for recognizing their efforts!

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Great turnout at Record blood drive


Thanks to all of you, The Record’s first Red Cross blood drive -- held in our first-floor Community Media Lab – was a great success.

Jim Shake, account manager, biomedical services for the American Red Cross, reports that the Red Cross collected 26 units from 30 donors, including seven first-timers. This was approximately 124 percent of the pre-established goals for the drive, Jim reports.

What's even more exciting is that this blood can now provide the gift of life to as many as 78 recipients.

The constant stream of people kept Community Engagement Editor Rebecca Eppelmann busy checking people in and moving them along to the very capable Red Cross staff.

Happy to see my friend Nora Dwyer taking part in the blood drive. No matter what the need is in this community, Nora is always there doing whatever she can to help. She’s one amazing lady!

In this case, the need was great. The Red Cross blood supply had reached emergency levels, with 50,000 fewer donations than expected in June. This shortfall left about half the readily available blood products on hand than was available at this time last year.

Record reporters Andrew Beam and Danielle Sanzone were happy to help out as blood donors as was our IT guru, Pete Blanchette.

It was my first time as a blood donor. I always wanted to do it, but I never got around to following through. Rebecca couldn’t have made it any easier for me by scheduling a blood drive one floor below my office.

The Red Cross staff was terrific: Friendly, professional and capable. I admit that I was a bit nervous and did have a mini panic attack as I was finishing up my donation; the staff quickly calmed me down, got me hydrated and later sent me on my way back to work on the second floor.

One final note: Let me congratulate Rebecca for doing a terrific job organizing this event. Whether it was hanging posters throughout downtown Troy, encouraging all of us to promote the blood drive through social media, writing reminder stories for the print edition, this was her project – and she did a great job helping others. We’re proud of you Rebecca!   

P.S. Stay turned for upcoming events in our Community Media Lab!

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Goodbye Katie!

It's only been a few days, but some of you might be wondering why you haven't seen a story written by news reporter Katie Nowak Roberts.

Katie, who covered several communities in Rensselaer County and worked as our general assignment reporter on Sundays, has left us for the greener pastures of Indiana.

During her more than two years with The Record, Katie experienced a few life changes, including becoming an aunt and marrying Nick Roberts.

In fact, at the end of this month, Katie and Nick will be packing up their belongings and moving to Indiana where Nick will start law school in the fall.

I thank Katie for all she did for us and wish both Katie and Nick much happiness and success in the future

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Calling all blood donors!

On Thursday, July 19, we're hoping you'll step up, roll up a sleeve and give blood or platelets when The Record hosts a blood drive from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Rebecca Eppelmann, who many of you may know as the editor of our former weeklies, Latham Life and River Life, has taken on a new assignment as community engagement editor for The Record and our sister newspaper to the north, The Saratogian.

While she has been involved with many of The Record's recent community efforts, Rebecca has taken the lead in organizing this effort to help the Red Cross, which reports its blood supply has reached emergency levels. Red Cross officials say they suspect this year's unseasonably early start to summer weather may be a contributing factor to the decrease in donations. They believe many regular donors got an early start on summer activities and aren’t taking time to give blood or platelets.

The Red Cross plays a critical role in our community, and I hope you'll consider stopping by our Community Media Lab Thursday here at 501 Broadway in downtown Troy. Free parking is available in our lot on Broadway between Fifth and Sixth avenues.

Take a look at some of the statistics provided by the Red Cross:

-- Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs a blood transfusion.

-- All blood types are currently needed -- especially O positive, O negative, B negative and A negative in order to meet patient demand this summer.

-- Type O negative is the universal blood type and can be transfused to anyone who needs blood. It’s the blood type doctors turn to first in an emergency situation when there is no time to match a patient’s blood type.

-- Every day, the Red Cross must collect more than 17,000 pints of blood for patients at more than 3,000 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country. Each pint of whole blood can help save more than one life.

To schedule an appointment, or for more information, call Rebecca Eppelmann at 270-1299 or 1-800-Red-Cross. The Record is located at 501 Broadway in Troy.

Thanks for thinking about making a donation and I hope to see you here on Thursday at The Record.

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