RPD: Staying Positive in Kansas

13th in a 2022 Series*

We’ve all heard the complaint from newspaper readers: You’re too negative. There’s NEVER anything positive in the paper or online. From a defensive crouch, we tell subscribers they are wrong: Ah, remember last week we had a feature on… And on it goes. With an endless pandemic forming today’s backdrop, it’s the time to play offense. Leave it to the Kansas Press Association to develop a weekly series for its members called the “Positive Press.” Since September, Executive Director Emily Bradbury and her crew have distributed an email newsletter that collects features published by association members, “while educating the general public about journalism, the people of Kansas, and the endless advertising opportunities in Kansas Publications.” Bradbury calls Positive Press “our sort of community square” to help promote “the work our journalists are doing across the state.” Well, all right now. KPA asks members to send “feature articles about Kansans in your area or good news stories that you think have statewide interest.” The response has been an interesting mix of articles about: people who give back, town history, local businesses, authors and artists, individuals and groups making a difference, changes vs. tradition, and landmarks, hallmarks and high marks about rural life. Positive Press also sprinkles in updates about the association itself. Working from home, for example, is working well for KPA after it sold its Topeka headquarters 20 months ago. I asked Bradbury how she thinks the initiative is doing. “We are pleased with the growth,” she responded in an email. “And we hope for more sponsorship opportunities in 2022!” Keep it positive. It’s a growth industry.

A story featured in Positive Press followed a Kansas participant in a fitness competition. Who said good news is a heavy lift?

Tom Silvestri, Executive Director, The Relevance Project

*ABOUT THE SERIES: Our goal is to share a Relevant Point of the Day (RPD) each weekday throughout 2022. Our target is at least 222. Thank you for supporting The Relevance Project. Your success is our focus.

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