Bob Haase’s Another Can Of Worms

Improved Communications?

Today we have so many more ways to communicate than ever before but has this led to improved communications or more problems?  I belong to a number of clubs and organizations and one of the biggest problems we face is how to communicate with our members and the public.

Years ago most people subscribed to a daily or weekly newspaper and most people read the paper.  Today most people rely on other sources to receive the news and other important information.  Because of this many papers have gone out of business and others are a lot smaller and do not print a lot of the information that people read the paper for.  It is like what came first the chicken or the egg! The paper got smaller because of reduced subscriptions and people don’t subscribe because the paper is smaller and don’t contain the information they are looking for. 

Today we still have a combination of traditional newspapers, radio, and television, but we also have a variety of nontraditional sources such as facebook, twitter, websites, and many others.  What this means is that we now have to look in as many as six, ten, or more sources to get what we used to get in the paper. Not everyone uses all or even some of the nontraditional sources so you don’t know what communication method to use to reach your audience.

Cell phones have made the process of contacting someone more complicated because you can’t look their name up in the phone book because cell phone numbers are not usually listed. You can’t send them an E-mail unless you know their E-mail address and those aren’t listed either.

Have you missed a friend’s funeral because you did not find out they died until after the funeral? Have you missed attending an event that you would have attended but you did not find out about it until after the event took place?  Have you tried to call a friend but found out they did not have a land line and did not know their cell number?  Have you tried to advertise an event but had lower than expected attendance because so many people did not know the event was taking place?

How do you communicate effectively in today’s world?  We know about the major events and disasters by listening to the radio and watching television, but how do you find out about a Trout Unlimited event that teaches kids to fish?  How do you find out about the smaller, but still important activities taking place in your community or surrounding area?

You can receive the newspapers on the internet, but they contain the same information that they print which is really reduced from what they used to print.  Maybe we need a web based newspaper that contains all the things the paper used to print and more.  Make this same information available in print form for those that don’t have internet service at a cost. Make this service regional so it covers a wider area.  Organize the information so that it is easier to find.   Like I have said many times before…. I don’t have all the answers but if someone develops a way of improving communications so people can again find out what is going on, they might be the next multi billionaire.

Bob Haase is the host of “Outdoors Thursday” heard Thursday mornings at 9:10 a.m. on News-Talk 1450 KFIZ.