HOOTS! Jobs, city budget and Twitter

wegmans-color• Wegmans brings jobs to the area.

• City Council’s budget increases.

• Social media as a marketing tool.

A slice of the job market

It’s always nice to see journalists add a local touch to a national story. This is exactly what Inquirer staff writer Art Carey did for his March 30 piece. Carey dives into the spiraling unemployment rate that is affecting the entire country, and puts the regional spin on it by examining a high-end grocer — Wegmans — and what they’re bringing to the community (JOBS!!).

One great aspect to Carey’s article is the amount of data he injects into the piece. He provides some scope with the use numbers regarding the unemployment rates, for example. Carey also provides the reader with numbers/data associate with Wegmans (e.g. how many they employ, how many the new store is hiring, etc.).

The amount of information is quite useful (a purpose to journalism — serving the public) for the reader. The reader learns how many employees Wegmans is hiring, when they’re hiring, and the fact that two more Wegmans are planned for the near future.

Another wonderful addition to the article is the amount of sources — not only that, but also who he uses as sources. Carey talked to six individuals all searching for full-time work, all feeling the crunch of unemployment, and the crappy economy. This effectively shares stories, and every one of them is a little different. It is a nice personal touch that anyone out there in a similar situation can relate to during these difficult times.

The article Carey wrote informs the public, explains why they need to know (in case they didn’t already), and it gives voice to local citizens caught in a crisis.

HOOT!

-Brian Donathan

Inquirer staff writer Art Carey does a great job with a story that could have been boring and become just another article about the economy and its affects on employment. But instead he is able to humanize this story about the pending opening of a Wegmans in Collegeville.

Wegmans has begun a three-week interview process as they sort through the 2,500 applicants that have applied for the 150 full-time positions available. Carey opens with an anecdote, a snapshot of just one of these 2,500 people and her story. He pulls in several other applicants and their stories throughout the article, which helps the reader to see the wide variety of the applicant pool.

To make the numbers more real, Carey explains that the odds for the people who applied for a job at Wegmans are “steeper odds than applicants to Harvard face.” He also profiles Wegmans as a company — which is useful in an area that doesn’t have many local Wegmanses. They are a family-owned company that thrives in part due to their philosophy: “If we take care of our employees, they’ll take care of our customers.”

Overall I think Carey does a nice job pulling several different, but related, threads together in this story. An article about the widespread economic crisis is brought to a very local level.

-Victoria M. Indivero

City Council’s budget expected to increase

This article from the Inquirer, by Jeff Shields, discusses the increase in City Council’s budget. The article first compares the Council’s budget to Mayor Nutter’s, writing that the Council’s budget was increased last year, before the recession began, by about $40,000 for each of the 17 Council offices. This money, according to the article, was used to hire additional staff members and give employees raises. The article also included criticism from some Council members as to why the budget was of concern, citing that it represented only .4 percent of the city budget’s general fund. It also included criticism from individuals saying that the Council could potentially cut or restructure its budget.

This article does a good job in explaining City Council’s budget and its implications. Shields includes plenty of figures and numbers to provide tangible information for readers, like including how much the budget increased, by 8 percent for this year compared to last year’s budget, and what that increase has meant for the members and employees. The Council also reported that the budget for 2010 will also exceed this year’s budget, at an increase of 2 percent over this year’s, totaling just over $16 million.

Another positive from this article was the variety of quotes and comments. Shields has commentary from both sides of this issue, from those who represent the Council and those who see a need for change. He includes Majority Whip Darrell L. Clarke discussing how the Council is integral to handling the city’s financial crisis, but also Councilman James F. Kenney, who says that the cuts should be based on the Council’s spending.

-Rachel Ross

A SECOND PLACE HOOT…

goes to NBC10 for no other reason than showing up at a PANMA seminar I visited recently on the topic of marketing via social media tools, AND editing a shot of me into their evening news and this online version of the story!!

HOOT!

Not sure what’s up with the extended no audio texting visual at the end… that was weak.

-Brian Donathan

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