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newspaper editor

Experiences I Will Never Forget

newspaper editorEver imagine what it’d be like to drive a semi through a revolving door, squeezing the long 18-wheeler through the whirling panels without breaking or even smudging the glass? That was my dream on Oct. 13 — and it doesn’t end there. Once I got the semi through the door, my next challenge was to find my way home in Chicago traffic. Talk about a daunting task.

I, of course, don’t drive semi trucks. I don’t even know how to drive a stick-shift car — one of my New Year’s resolutions that never reached fruition. I also don’t know my way around Chicago, nor do I feel comfortable driving in big-city traffic.

That dream, I believe, characterized my upcoming departure from the Times Herald.

Believing in possibilities

Change is seldom stress-free, and leaving a career that’s become such a part of me is like trying to maneuver through revolving doors in a semi. Navigating the journey afterward is just as fraught with uncertainty.

What I had going for me in my dream, however, were my two passengers, who I think represented a support system that believed in possibilities. They jumped on board for the ride.

I woke up before I could pull away from the curb and into Chicago traffic, but I had already (magically) navigated the revolving door. I was on my way!

After nearly eight years as managing editor of the Oconto County Times Herald, it’s time for someone else to take the helm. As for my next journey, I certainly won’t be driving semi for a living! I’m starting my own business, Writer to the Rescue, “Saving the World One Word at a Time.”

Onto life’s next journey

I envision myself writing website content and blogs, newsletters, brochures and articles for online platforms and print publications. I am enrolled in the social media marketing program at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, and in May I will earn my associate degree, giving me a fresh approach to content writing. Much has changed since I earned my journalism degree in the 1980s!

This edition hits the mailboxes on my last official day as editor. As I move on, I’d like to offer my heartfelt thanks.

I’m grateful to my colleagues who were instrumental in creating a product in which we take great pride. I’m grateful to the readers and advertisers who support our publication and to those who went out on a limb to write a letter-to-the-editor. I’m grateful to the news sources who have answered my questions, posed for my photos, and returned my phone calls and emails.

Treasured time as newspaper editor

I am honored to have had the opportunity to chronicle current events since 2009, and I enjoyed telling the stories of the people of the community.

I’ve had experiences I will never forget.

No matter where my dreams take me next, my stint as editor of the Oconto County Times Herald will be something I will treasure.

Editor’s note: Wolf River Media reporter Scott Williams will provide news coverage for the Oconto County Times Herald until a full-time replacement is found for Joan.

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Miller Park

3 must-dos at Miller Park

Miller ParkSomehow, seemingly without me knowing it, I became a Milwaukee Brewers fan.

By 2011, I was hooked.

That’s the year the Brewers fell to the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Championship Series. I’ve loved following the team ever since.

My enthusiasm grew over time, and I especially like listening to Bob Uecker’s deadpan humor on the Brewers’ radio broadcast.

My trips to Miller Park have been a blast, and over the past five years I’ve had some real “fan”-tastic experiences at the state-of-the art jewel that opened in 2001.

On the Milwaukee Brewers website, Miller Park is described as a park “where a fan upon encountering the brick facade and structural elegance can’t help but feel the reincarnation of baseball’s romantic past. Intimate proximity to the players, natural grass, and a unique configuration separates this ballpark from any in the world.”

Here are my Top 3 recommendations if you’re looking to enhance your Brewers baseball experience at Miller Park.

  1. Tour Miller Park

Beer Kegs

Did you know the fan-shaped roof that covers the field weighs 12 tons and takes 15 minutes to open or close? That’s what I learned on my Miller Park tour in 2015.

Our tour guide provided us with these tidbits and much more. He was knowledgeable and welcomed our questions. The behind-the-scenes look inside the stadium was a thrill. I especially liked having my son take photos of me throwing fake pitches in the bullpen, and I was awed by the stack of beer barrels in the basement. I loved seeing the broadcast booth where Bob Uecker does his play-by-play and dodges foul balls. You can learn more about the tours here.

  1. Get to know the Brewers’ “First Fan”

Tucked away in the left-field corner on the Loge Level is a multimedia presentation about the man who brought Major League Baseball back to Milwaukee. If you don’t recognize the name Allan “Bud” Selig, then you’re definitely not a baseball fan. But that doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy the Bud Selig Experience.

There you can view artifacts of Selig’s tenure as the Brewers’ owner and view a reproduction of his County Stadium office.

The whole feel-good experience left me with a new understanding of Selig’s love of the game and his against-all-odds effort to bring a team to his hometown.

  1. Be a kid again

BaseballsVisiting Bernie’s Clubhouse on the Terrace Level behind home plate is a must if you bring children to the game. Depending on their ages, your kids will have a variety of fun things to do in this area.

My “kid” was 22 when we visited last month, and we found plenty to entertain us. We snapped photos with one of the Brewers’ mascots, Hank the dog, depicted by a friendly person in a dog costume. We also snapped selfies with the life-sized plastic Klements Racing Sausages on display.

Then we visited the Kohl’s table to make a sign to show off, hoping to be featured on the Jumbo Tron. Sign-making brings out your creativity and is sure to bring a laugh or two. Don’t take yourself too seriously! It’s fun to bounce ideas off each and come up with some pretty awful ideas before settling on the message of the game.

So, whether you’ve been a Brewers fan for one day or your whole life, I encourage you to visit Miller Park to cheer on the Brew Crew.

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shepherds pie

Here’s to Casseroles, Content and Creativity

Content marketing strategy is a little like a shepherd’s pie. For those who don’t know what a shepherd’s pie is, let me explain. It’s a baked casserole in which meat is at the bottom and mashed potatoes at the top.

What about the middle? Recipes for shepherd’s pie vary greatly in the ingredients for the middle.

So what does this have to do with content marketing strategy?

The meat and potatoes provide the structure for the shepherd’s pie: the organization, categorization and main components of the dish.

The middle is like the substance of content strategy: the story, topic, brand, voice and tone that fill in the structure and make it a delicious dish.

Content strategy puts into use a wide range of tactics, just like the middle of the shepherd’s pie can have a wide range of ingredients: canned corn, diced tomatoes, etc.

The goal of adding all these ingredients is to create a delicious meal to enjoy. The goal of a content strategy will be to successfully achieve business goals and meet audience needs.

You need to peel, slice and mash the potatoes and put together the different ingredients of the shepherd’s pie, which corresponds to the need to create posts, blogs, photos, videos, etc. for content.

The reward for your work in the kitchen is to eat the shepherd’s pie and think about how good it is or how you might change ingredients to make it better, much like you monitor content for its effectiveness and adapt strategies as the audience responds.

Then there’s cleaning the kitchen and doing the dishes, which is much like deleting inaccurate or outdated content on social media platforms.

This is why I believe content management is much like a shepherd’s pie – without the yummy taste.

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