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Archive for February 15th, 2012

Update: Buffy Andrews and her colleagues at the York Daily Record will be getting a box of Valentine’s candy soon, winning my Valentine’s engagement project with 365 votes just over 50 percent. But the voting and engagement was strong enough that I’m going to send a second box of candy to the second-place finisher, the Morning Sun in Mt. Pleasant, Mich., which got 283 votes for 39 percent.

Lisa Yanick-Jonaitis tweeted that her newsroom cared most about winning:

Still, I’m guessing the candy will be consumed.

I also should add that this is not all the Valentine’s engagement that Digital First newsrooms did, just the ones that provided the information for the contest. Delaware County Times mentioned in a Feb. 8 message:

Tonight (Wednesday) on our live-stream ‘Live From the Newsroom’ show, we are assembling our special gastronomic panel to delve into the mysteries of romance for Valentine’s Day, and in particular what food has to do with it. One chef is preparing a rack of lamb and talking about what foods will – and won’t – put you in the mood. … For Valentine’s Day, we are soliciting readers via social media to share the ultimate sign of devotion – a tattoo. Hopefully we’ll have some decent video and stories that take a look at the love stories behind the tattoos.

Reporter Paul Luce elaborated in a Feb. 9 email:

For the Daily Times’ Valentine’s Day Community Engagement Project, we decided to take a fun look at “love tattoos.” Utilizing Facebook and Twitter, we’ve solicited responses from folks who have tattoos of loved ones, or — even better — have had tattoos of loved ones removed.

It has generated quite a buzz on our Facebook page, from which I have gleaned a couple of great sources for interviews for the story. Internet Editor Vince Carey, Assignment Editor Jon Tuleya and myself have been monitoring the Facebook and Twitter pages, using them as interactive tools to converse with readers online — which has been a lot of fun. One reader even went so far as to send us pictures of her tattoos! She has a great story to go along with them.  I’ve also garnered a few more followers to my Twitter account from this process.

In addition, I’ve contacted a laser surgeon who removes thousands of love tattoos each year.

For a video component of the story, we have some videos of a father getting a tattoo of his late son for Valentine’s Day, as well as interviews with the above-mentioned surgeon and others with tattoos of loved ones.

We’re looking to wrap up interviews and video shoots today, and have the project finished by Friday.

I asked Paul for an update Tuesday and didn’t hear back, so I forgot to include it the Delco project. But I looked up the final project to show you that we had more engagement going on than what I included in the contest.

Digital First Media newsrooms have been competing for a box of Valentine’s candy. I offered to send a Priority Mail box stuffed with candy to the newsroom running the best community engagement project centered on the holiday we associate with romance.

Several newsrooms and their communities responded to the challenge with interesting projects. I’d like your help to pick the best one.

Here are the entries, in the order they were submitted (in some cases, I’m combining multiple messages updating the project): (more…)

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