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December Board of Directors meeting minutes

New Hampshire Press Association Board of Directors

Meeting Minutes — Dec. 14, 2017

Board of Directors: Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, a regular board meeting was called to order via phone conference call by President Vanessa Palange at 1:05 p.m.

In Attendance: In addition to Ms. Palange and Executive Director Phil Kincade, the following board members were in attendance: Howard Altschiller, David Brooks, Chuck Douglas, Heather Henline, Carol Robidoux, David Saad, Trent Spiner and David Tirrell-Wysocki participating for portions or all of the call, as individual schedules permitted.

Absent: Bill Chapman

A quorum of membership was present.

Executive Director’s Report by Phil Kincade: Mr. Kincade discussed the following agenda items:

  • Website update — The new website is Mr. Kincade asked for member feedback regarding the site and its features. The site features fresh content daily, association news, stories for member organizations, RSS and Twitter feeds. Mr. Kincade invited the board to let him know of any type of content or feature members would like to see added to the site.
  • Twitter update — The association’s Twitter handle is @pressnh. The goal is to keep branding the same and recognizable between the website, Twitter and Facebook.
  • Invoice update — An invoicing structure with suggested dues was presented to the board for its review.
  • Facebook update — No one was able to successfully access or admin the previous association Facebook page. Mr. Kincade suggested moving forward with a fresh page PressNH to match Twitter and URL feeds.
  • Meeting with Mark Elliott Yankee Chapter – Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) — This was presented as an opportunity to partner with this organization to share joint ideas and possibly participate in future educational forums. It could be a way to collaborate to help build protocols for how those in marketing and public relations deal with the media.

Other items discussed by Mr. Kincade:

  • He indicted a press release about the association’s use of the Spradling Group will be ready for dissemination the first of next week.
  • He was able to review the previous three to four years’ worth of emails. The only information of value discovered to date through his research was a list of contest winners for each of the three most recent years when a contest took place. In response to this update, Mr. Spiner asked if the email currently forwarded to his Union Leader account could be redirected. Mr. Spiner, as the most recent immediate past president, still was receiving email requests regarding internships and other association business.
  • Mr. Kincade suggested the association move away from the .com email address listed above. He recommended changing the association’s email to to make it more official and in line with the website and other social media tools.
  • Mr. Kincade explained there was bundle package pricing for the domain name and related services, at a cost of $260.95 for a term of three years. Mr. Brooks, treasurer, motioned for this invoice to be paid. It was seconded by Mr. Douglas, and it carried unanimously. Mr. Kincade was to forward the invoice to Mr. Brooks for payment.

Approval of Minutes: The previous meeting’s minutes were submitted for approval by Ms. Henline, secretary, pending any corrections from the board. Mr. Douglas made a motion to approve, and it was seconded by Mr. Brooks. The motion carried unanimously, and any submitted changes would be made by Ms. Henline prior to the final filing of the minutes.

Treasurer’s Report by David Brooks: Mr. Brooks reported the association’s account was at $5,702.94. He noted one check was received in the amount of $1,000 from Mr. Douglas. This was specifically designated as a donation to fund the lobbying services the association procured through Scott Spradling. A motion to approve the report and the receipt of payments in as well as the payment of invoice out was made by Mr. Douglas. It was seconded by Ms. Robidoux. It carried unanimously.

Committee Reports:

Legislative — Trent Spiner, chair: Mr. Spiner introduced Mr. Saad, who had been recommended as an ex-officio board member. Mr. Saad is president of Right to Know New Hampshire. Extensive discussion ensued with regard to pending Right to Know legislation as well as a compromise solution in the use of an ombudsman to hear RTK appeals.

Both Mr. Spiner and Mr. Saad provided in-depth background about the history of RTK requests as well as the existing and proposed appeals process. This included discussion about the costs of appeals, who pays for them and from where funding would come for an ombudsman. The membership explored whether the association should take a stance with regard to pending legislation. There were many questions from the membership, and the consensus seemed to be that more information was needed, including the final version of the proposed legislation. A vote as to whether to support this legislation at this time was slated for later in the meeting’s agenda.

In addition, Mr. Spiner and Mr. Douglas reviewed multiple bills being proposed in the upcoming legislation session. These bills were provided to members in advance for potential review and all had some impact on a facet of media. Individual questions were posed and answered, but no vote was taken on whether to support these bills. Rather, today’s discussion was meant to educate the membership as to the bills’ existence, to provide access to more information about the proposed legislation and to highlight the potential impact on our industry.  

Content Sharing — Vanessa Palange, chair: Ms. Palange discussed some requests from the membership for a shared content management system. She reported Mark with the Sun Group reviewed a CMS option with her. She said The Sun Group may have a willingness to permit members to use its CMS system. However, the concern remains whether granting such open access could pose any risks. Also, there is the issue of how to regulate the use of shared content to ensure all parties are being fair in both posting as well as utilizing materials. There was no definitive program put forth at this time.

Contest — Heather Henline, chair: Ms. Henline had reached out to several other press associations to explore their online contest models. Two options were noted: 1. Better Newspaper Contest known as the BNC and 2. Advance Contest Entry System run through the Illinois Press Association. Both offer full-service contests with online uploading and judging platforms.

At last check within the industry, ACES was more economical. Ms. Henline has the contact information for both organizations and will arrange for demonstrations as well as price quotes from both. In addition, sometime in late January, she will email contest committee members to set a meeting to formulate a survey to determine interest in the contest process and potential categories.

Motion to Accept Committee and Other Reports: This was made by Ms. Robidoux and seconded by Mr. Douglas. It carried unanimously.

Old Business:

  • Facebook — Since the old Facebook page couldn’t be properly accessed, a motion was put forth by Ms. Robidoux to move forward as proposed by Mr. Kincade in his executive director’s report. It was seconded by Ms. Henline and carried unanimously.
  • Right to Know — Lengthy discussion ensued again with regard to whether the association should offer its support for the pending Right to Know legislation. After a consensus was not reached, it was determined more information was needed, particularly a copy of the most updated bill. The board discussed that while it agrees with the spirit of the legislation, a vote of support would be premature at this time. Mr. Altschiller made the motion to table a vote of support for the bill. It was seconded by Mr. Douglas and carried unanimously.
  • Invoices, dues structure — Mr. Kincade had sent a proposed dues structure for member organizations. This was discussed as part of his executive director’s report. The board wanted more time to review the proposed assessments. A motion to table this item and move it to the January 2018 meeting was made by Mr. Brooks and seconded by Mr. Douglas. It carried unanimously.

New Business:

  • Ex-Officio Members — David Saad and David Tirrell-Wysocki, both of whom participated in the meeting, were formally proposed for ex-officio membership on the board. The motion was made by Mr. Douglas and seconded by Mr. Altschiller. It carried unanimously. Both men were warmly welcomed to the board.
  • Additional Legislation — Mr. Douglas brought up additional bills worthy of discussion and review by the association. He wanted the minutes to reflect tentative if not official support of state House Bills 1786, 1788 and 1789 as well as Senate Bill 395. Then, a motion to table this until a future meeting was made by Mr. Brooks and seconded by Mr. Douglas. It carried unanimously.
  • Spradling Group Protocols/Communication — Since the association has engaged a lobbyist, it was proposed that there be one board representative to streamline communication with Scott Spradling. After discussion, it was proposed this person be Mr. Spiner. A motion was made by Mr. Douglas and seconded by Mr. Brooks. It carried unanimously.
  • Growing Membership — Mr. Kincade wanted to invite board members to share association resources with applicable employees. He reminded the board that membership covers all employees within an organization. He also asked for email and contact information for any employee we believed could benefit from press association communication. Mr. Kincade said that by engaging more of our staffers, we have additional potential committee members who could become future board members or executive officers.
  • Google Workshop — Ms. Palange mentioned a Google Tools workshop that was moved to Jan. 12, 2018, in conjunction with the Concord Monitor. It is free and could benefit reporters and other staffers who want to learn how to best take advantage of all the resources offered by Google.

Adjournment: The meeting adjourned at approximately 2:24 p.m., on a motion by Mr. Brooks. It was seconded by Mr. Spiner and carried unanimously.

Next meeting: Our next meeting is scheduled for a conference call at 1 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 11. An agenda will be forthcoming.


Respectfully submitted,

Heather Henline

New Hampshire Press Association



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