Communicators Talk

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  Mark Mathewson,

                                  Communicators Talk
Francine Walker, Florida

 Kevin Ryan, Vermont                              NABE Communications Section n May 2008

                            The Chair’s Column:

 Brad Carr, Alabama
                                    Yourself on the Radar Screen
                            Put Mathewson, Section Chair, Illinois State Bar Association
                            By Mark

   Veronica Cordova,
                                noted in my last Chair’s Column that         •	 Enter the Luminary Awards
      New Mexico                the Communications Section’s election           competition. Speaking of             season begins in May. That’s when we            switching from print to digital,
                            invite you to step forward and volunteer            this year’s Luminary Awards
 Jenna Grubb, Toledo        to serve on the NABECOMM executive                  contest has a separate electronic-
                            council.                                            publications category for the first
  Kelley Jones King,            Please consider doing so. Even if you
         Texas              aren’t slated the first time you seek office,   In This Issue:         you’ll identify yourself as someone who         The Chair’s Column:
                            aspires to a leadership role. It’s important    Put Yourself on the Radar Screen ....... 1
   Carol Manning,           that the section be inclusive and responsive
 immediate past chair,                                                      Profiling Your Bar Association in
                            to all members’ needs, from the largest         Wikipedia? Are You Crazy? ................. 2          state association to the smallest local bar.
                                                                            Postal Rate Hikes Effective in May ...... 3
                            You can help us do that simply by making
Bonnie Sashin, Boston       yourself available to serve. And you can        Luminary Awards Give Inspiration
     bsashin@                                                               to All of Us ............................................ 4
                            throw a colleague’s hat in the ring, too,
                            if you know someone who would make              Matching Message to Media:
                            a great section leader but needs a nudge.       The Control Factor ............................... 5
   Mark Tarasiewicz,
     Philadelphia           Watch for the election information that will    What We Learned From
    mtarasiewicz@           come your way soon, if it hasn’t already by     the Dues Survey ................................... 6           the time you read this.                         Anne Charles Distinguished
                            Aspirational To Do List for                     Service Award ...................................... 7
    CO-EDITORS              NABE Folks                                      Take a Bite Out of the Big Apple!
 Jeanne Barker, Idaho         •	 Contribute to Communicators Talk.          Join Us for the 2008 NABE Annual            Alexa, Jeanne and Sarah are a great        Meeting in NYC .................................... 8
                                 newsletter team, but they can’t do         Call for Nominations for Section
Alexa Giacomini, Illinois             it alone. Have you overcome some           Leadership Positions ........................... 9
                                 communications challenge (e.g.,            So You Want to Make a Movie........... 11
   NEWSLETTER                    switching a publication from print
                                                                            NABECOMM Community News ........ 13
  LAYOUT/DESIGN                  to digital and postal to electronic
 Sarah Coole, Georgia            delivery)? Tell us how you did it.

                                                                   Communicators Talk n May 2008                                          1
       time. Follow the links at the NABE Web site              great cities, and attendees are in for some
       or go straight to                great State Bar of Texas hospitality. Don’t
       index.cfm to find out more. Don’t wait—the               miss it! nnn
       deadline is May 30.
                                                                             Mark Mathewson is the Director
                                                                             of Publications at the Illinois State
    •	 Make plans now to attend the                                          Bar Association and a licensed
       Communications Section workshop in                                    attorney. He can be reached at
       Austin in October (the 21st through the                      or
       25th). The workshop is the section’s signal                           217-525-1760.
       member benefit, Austin is one of America’s

Profiling Your Bar Association in Wikipedia?
Are You Crazy?
By Bonnie Sashin, APR, Communications Director, Boston Bar Association

       ou are the staff person responsible for the      Wikipedia is reportedly the eighth most popular
       image and identity of your bar association.      site on the Web. Google virtually anything and the
       You draft strategies, public statements, and     likelihood of a Wikipedia entry showing up on the
news releases, but rarely if ever does anything leave first page is high. Not to mention that Generation Y
your office without the approval of your executive      treats Wikipedia as a handy reference of first resort,
director, your president, or both. Now imagine          even though they know anything said on Wikipedia
posting a profile of your bar association that has      will need to be checked out for accuracy.
the potential to be viewed by more than 2.3 million         From my perspective, which may sound
people—with no money down.                              dangerously control-freakish, the good news is that
   Just one catch: every Tom, Dick and Harriet,         nobody has “tampered” with the BBA’s Wikipedia
with or without a high school diploma,
will be empowered to edit that profile.
Any Wikipedia user can edit without
your approval, offer comments in a
discussion section, or remove those
sections of your bar’s Wikipedia
profile most cherished by you, your
executive director, or your president.
   Against that backdrop, the Boston
Bar Association (BBA) some 18
months ago posted a Wikipedia profile
that included our history, mission,
recent amicus briefs, and a handful
of public service projects. It also
included references to BBA presidents
who have gone on to higher callings,
including the first woman to head
Massachusetts’ high court and the first
                                           The Boston Bar Association’s Wikipedia profile.
woman to serve on the First Circuit
Court of Appeals. This January we
uploaded photos of our building and our boardroom, entry or said anything about us—mean or otherwise.
and also added our logo.                                Credit some of that to my dutifully following the
   Why expose your bar association to the potential instructions of the newly-minted college graduate
for comments you would just as soon avoid?              I assigned to research what is required to post a

                                                          Communicators Talk n May 2008                        2
Wikipedia entry. He cautioned me to stick to the            seemed unable to grasp the concept that although
facts, make sure anything I put in the profile could        the referrals were free, there was a charge for the
be documented, and also be transparent about who            legal services. We pulled the references to our
was posting the profile. Obviously no qualifiers,           Lawyer Referral Service.
or what Wikipedia administrators call “weasel                   For me, the benefits of having a Wikipedia
language,” and definitely no adjectives endemic to          entry outweigh the risks—assuming you monitor
bar association news releases. An equally plausible         it frequently and know how to respond should the
explanation is that too few people have even seen           need arise. nnn
our entry. (One of our interns mentioned that before
                                                                              Bonnie Sashin, APR is the
applying for a job with us, she went to Wikipedia to
                                                                              Communications Director for the
see what she could find out about us. Although she                            Boston Bar Association. She is a
found our entry skimpy, she thought we sounded                                member of the NABE
“prestigious.”)                                                               Communications Council, and is
   After dipping our toe into Wikipedia’s waters,                             accredited by the Public Relations
                                                                              Society of America. She presents
we felt emboldened enough to wet our swim suit—
                                                                              frequently at NABE meetings, and has
with less favorable results. When we attempted                                lectured at Radcliffe Seminars
to add a few sentences about our ABA-approved               (Harvard University) and Northeastern University.
Lawyer Referral Service, we encountered a                   Bonnie is a former journalist, now enjoying her 20th year
Wikipedia administrator who said he had made edits          at the BBA. She can be reached at Bsashin@bostonbar.
                                                            org or 617-778-1902.
to avoid having the entry sound “promotional.” He

Postal Rate Hikes Effective in May
*Reprinted with permission from the Illinois Society of Association Executives,
Executive Director Pamela J. Tolson, CAE

      he U.S. Postal Service (USPS) on Feb. 11              for consumers to ease the transition during price
      announced rate increases for First-Class              changes,” said Postmaster General John Potter. “We
      stamps and other mail categories, effective           encourage Americans to buy Forever stamps now
May 12.                                                     for 41 cents, because like the name suggests, they
   The price for a First-Class stamp will increase          are good forever.”
from 41 to 42 cents, although the increase will not            Consistent with the new postal reform law,
extend to the Forever stamp launched last April.            the USPS has the authority to adjust prices for
“The Postal Service developed the Forever stamp             mailing services annually each May, although
                                                                              increases for each class of
                                                                               mail are capped by the rate of
                                                                               inflation. The service plans to
                                                                               provide 90 days notice before
                                                                               the price changes each year.
                                                                                  According to the Alliance
                                                                               for Nonprofit Mailers, nonprofit
                                                                               mailers fared reasonably well in
                                                                               the latest rate-setting. The rates
                                                                               for Standard Nonprofit Regular
                                                                               Letters increased by 0.8 percent,
                                                                               and Standard Nonprofit Regular
                                                                               Flats actually decreased by 1.2
                                                                               percent. The rate for Periodicals
                                                                               will increase by 2.7 percent on
                                                                               average across the board. nnn

                                                              Communicators Talk n May 2008                      3
Luminary Awards Give Inspiration To All of Us
By Barry Kolar, Assistant Executive Director, Tennessee Bar Association

          et the recognition you deserve for your            This year’s competition also features a new
          outstanding work by entering the 2008           category that recognizes the growing body of work
          Luminary Awards competition. Entries are        in electronic communications. If you have created
being accepted now through May 30.                        an innovative e-newsletter or similar publication,
    The NABE Communication Section’s Luminary             you have a great opportunity to see it recognized.
Awards program provides the best opportunity for             Winners of the competition—generously
your boss, your board, your members and your              sponsored again in 2008 by Thomson West—will
colleagues to appreciate your good work. Entering         receive an impressive trophy, presented during the
is free and easy, just go to       2008 NABE Communications Workshop in Austin,
and fill out the form.                                    Oct. 21-25.
    Since the Luminary Awards program was                    Entries in 2008 will be judged in the following
launched more than a decade ago, NABE members             categories:
from all across the country—from bars big and                • Excellence in Publications, Regular
small—have been recognized for their work in                 • Excellence in Publications, Special
producing high-quality publications, innovative              • Excellence in Publications, Electronic
Web sites, creative marketing campaigns, and                 • Excellence in Public Relations
compelling public relations efforts.                         • Excellence in Web Sites
                                                             • Excellence in Marketing
                                                             Entries from small, medium and large bar
                                                          associations will only compete against similar sized
                                                             The deadline for entries—materials must also be
                                                          mailed by the deadline—is Friday, May 30, 2008.
                                                          But don’t wait until then. Make your entry now so
                                                          that you don’t miss out on this opportunity to shine.
                                                          Visit to get your entry
                                                             Questions? Send an email to Barry Kolar at

                                                          Barry Kolar, is the Assistant Executive Director of the
                                                          Tennessee Bar Association (TBA), a voluntary bar with
                                                          10,000 members. He supervises the TBA’s Web site
                                                          and other communications vehicles as part of his role
                                                          as head of the TBA’s Communications Circle. You can
                                                          contact Barry at or 615-383-7421.

       Got a great article in mind for the Communicators
      Talk e-newsletter? To submit an article request or to
       volunteer to write an article, please contact Alexa
        Giacomini (Co-Editor) at
                                                            Communicators Talk n May 2008                       4
Matching Message to Media:
The Control Factor
By David N. Anderson, Associate Executive Director, Illinois State Bar Association

           hen controversy strikes and the bar
           must communicate its views to the
           broader public, several communication
avenues are available. It often falls to bar staff, in
conjunction with leadership, to choose the best one
for the occasion. When your bar president calls
and says, “We gotta call a press conference!”, it’s
up to staff to consider all available options and
recommend the one that makes the most sense.
   One way to evaluate communication options is
to consider the issue of message control. In fact, the
bar president who launches haphazardly into a press
conference may find the message slipping from the
bar’s control.
   The following are options, ranging from total
message control to only slight control:
Paid Advertising (Total Control)
   If you’re paying, you call the tune. The
downside—advertising can cost big bucks, and paid
ads often are not the best way to convey the bar’s         Press Conference (Lack of Control)
position on an issue. If a paid ad is the choice, use a        If your issue or the controversy is sufficient to
professional agency experienced in issues advocacy.        warrant a summons to the media, you and your
Letter to the Editor/Guest Column                          leaders should be prepared to assume the role of
(Near Total Control)                                       partial bystander. A written release is almost always
    As a practical matter, this option should be the       recommended as a handout at a press conference
first consideration for most bars. Upside—it’s free        to help place your message squarely at the center,
and you have total message control (as long as you         but reporters may be looking for their own angle.
stay within word limits) and high readability among        Many press conferences produce positive coverage,
influential audiences. Downside— can’t really think        but there are no guarantees. What if you call a press
of one.                                                    conference and nobody comes? Be prepared with
                                                           a back-up plan that includes getting your release
Written Statement/News Release
                                                           to the news desks and having your spokesperson
(Moderate Control)
                                                           available to answer questions by phone.
   Get it in writing, and get it right. On the plus
side, you can reduce media errors by clearly stating       Three Additional Reminders
your message (and the spelling of your president’s            Obviously, the effectiveness of the above
name). Weekly newspapers may print your release            approaches can be magnified by posting on your
word-for-word, but dailies and electronic media            Web home page, on YouTube, to e-mail discussion
may want to ask questions of your president.               groups, and in other new media venues.
They also could talk to others, who might have a              Sometimes, it’s better to have a third-party
competing view of the issue. If you want headlines,        speak on the bar’s behalf or in addition to the bar.
this is the way to go. Just be ready to feel a little      Especially if you’re dealing with an issue where
queasy opening the paper the next morning—a                the bar might appear to have a high degree of
surprise may be in store.                                  self-interest, a respected outside organization, or

                                                             Communicators Talk n May 2008                   5
individual may be able to effectively carry your                          David N. Anderson, is the Associate
message using one of the above approaches.                                Executive Director of the Illinois State
                                                                          Bar Association and leads their public
   Always keep in mind your members are an
                                                                          relations efforts. He is a past recipient
important part of the broader public audience.                            of the E.A. “Wally” Richter Leadership
Sometimes, even if you’re not likely to win the                           Award (1984). You can reach David at
public debate on an issue, it’s good for your                    or
members to see you standing up for them and their                         217-525-1760.
position. A letter to the editor is often an excellent
way to achieve goodwill with your members. nnn

What We Learned From the Dues Survey
By Michael Ward, Research Specialist, ABA Division for Bar Services

                                                         software is customized—tailored specifically to that
                                                         bar. Sixty-six percent of bars that use the top six
                                                         programs recommend them. But only 50 percent of
                                                         bars using customized software recommend it.
                                                            Insurance is voluntary. Section 4 covers
                                                         insurance programs. Voluntary bars offer the highest
                                                         percentage of almost every major benefit, including
                                                         every type of insurance.
                                                            There’s much more wisdom to be found in
                                                         the 2007 Dues Survey, now available to NABE
                                                         Communications Section members for 15 percent
                                                         off. Find the survey at and enter
                                                         source code PBA7EDSCDISC when prompted. nnn

        ou might not think of the 2007 State and         Michael Ward is a Research Specialist who has been
        Local Bar Membership Dues and Mandatory          with the ABA Division for Bar Services since 2000. The
        Fees Survey as a book you would read cover       Division produce several publications, including their
to cover. But the survey, newly expanded and with        e-newsletter The Bridge. You can reach him at
                                                or 312-988-5356.
almost twice as much data as last year’s version, is
revealing. The following facts are taken from the
survey’s new sectional summary reports:                          2007 State and Local Bar
   Young lawyers rule. Section 1 reports that more                Membership Dues and
bars have programs (75) to attract young lawyers—
even new admittees, than any other market segment.
                                                                  Mandatory Fees Survey
Most bars categorize their program as very or               A comprehensive listing of state and local
somewhat successful.                                        bar association mandatory dues and fees.
   Retention programs are simple and direct.                Also includes information on membership
Section 2 notes programs bars have used to get                 retention, membership benefits and
members to renew. The most popular include direct           services, dues increases, dues collection
mailings and e-mail reminders. Others include a               methods, nondues sources of income
one-time dues reduction, a survey, a letter from the        and other data relating to bar association
president, and courtesy calls before the drop-date.         membership. Available only in PDF format.
Discounting mandatory bars, the average retention
rate is 91 percent.                                         NABE Communications Section members
   Membership management software abounds.                  receive 15 percent off. Find the survey at
Section 3 of the survey lists 20 different programs and enter source code
used for managing membership. The most used                    PBA7EDSCDISC when prompted.

                                                           Communicators Talk n May 2008                        6
Anne Charles Distinguished Service Award
Christine Cendagorta, Executive Director, Washoe County Bar Association, Reno, NV

          athered in a pine-paneled meeting room        Who is Eligible?
          at the Lake Tahoe workshop in 2000, we           Members of the NABE Section on
          created the Anne Charles Award. Anne had      Communications. All members are eligible except
died a year before that meeting after just six months   former Section Chairs and current members of
of treatment for cancer. We wanted to recognize         the Communications Section Executive Council.
our colleague and friend who exemplified service,       Any member of NABE may submit a nominee for
volunteerism and shared expertise, using her            consideration.
memory to honor members who demonstrate the
                                                        What are the Selection Criteria?
same service and spirit.
                                                           Significant and consistent participation in
    Anne Charles was the elegant and articulate
                                                        Section volunteer activities that further the Section’s
Communications Director for the State Bar of
                                                        goals through committee and other related activities
California from 1985 to her death in 1999. She
                                                        on behalf of the Section such as serving as a mentor
brought prior political experience and a real sense
                                                        or member of the workshop planning committee.
of how to maintain that delicate balance between
the association’s interests and the press to her        When Will the Award be Presented?
job. She served during the years of disastrous           At the Annual Communications Workshop
near-demise of the State Bar and we watched as          Who Do I Contact for More Information?
she somehow managed to maintain perspective               Christine Cendagorta, 2008 Anne Charles Award
and even joy during that time. A close friend at        Chair, Washoe County Bar Association
the California Bar described her this way: “Her
convictions and values guided her life. [H]er beliefs   Past Anne Charles Recipients
were not situational; they were not taken out of the      • 2006 Toby Brown, Utah State Bar
attic when appropriate. They were an integral part        • 2005 Yvonne McGhee, Fairfax County Bar
of her life. She actually lived what she believed.”         Association, VA
    It was that same level of commitment and service      • 2004 Ann Scarle, Baton Rouge Bar
she provided to the Communications Section. She             Association, LA
served the Section by chairing committees, serving        • 2003 Roger Parris, Bar Association of Erie
on the Executive Council, mentoring new members,            County, NY
and representing the Section’s interest with the          • 2002 Paul Nickell, Oregon State Bar
NABE Board of Directors. The Anne Charles Award           • 2001 Arlene Abady, Colorado Bar Association
honors those attributes—the “unsung” heroes of
the Section who add so much to what we do for our                                           Christine Cendagorta,
members, and thus for our associations.                                                     is Executive Director of
                                                                                            the Washoe County Bar
 What is the Anne Charles Award for
                                                                                            Association, Reno, NV.
Distinguished Service?                                                                      She is a past Chair of
   The Anne Charles Award for Distinguished                                                 the Communications
Service is presented to a member of the NABE                                                Section who happily
Communications Section who has made a                                                       found a home in bar
                                                                                            work with the State Bar
significant contribution to advancing the goals of
                                                        of Nevada and then Washoe County Bar after a
the Section through committee service or other          miserable, but brief, flirtation with teaching. She is a
Section volunteer efforts. The award recognizes the     happy “Grammy” to five, the newest being a namesake
“unsung heroes” who have shared their time and          Christmas gift. You can reach Christine at chris@wcbar.
expertise on behalf of the Section.                     org or 775-786-4494.

                                                          Communicators Talk n May 2008                          7
Take a Bite Out of the Big Apple! Join Us
for the 2008 NABE Annual Meeting in NYC

       egistration is now open for the 2008 Annual
       Meeting in New York City, August 5-8.
       Online registration and housing reservations
may be made at
Please be sure to select the “NABE/NCBP/NCBF”
option when registering.
   For questions about registration, please contact
Tondanisha Nevels at or
Hotel Information
   The headquarter hotel for the NABE Annual
Meeting is the Sheraton New York (www. located in Midtown
Manhattan on 7th Avenue, between 52nd and 53rd
Streets. Single/double room rates are $223 per night
plus tax. You are encouraged to register now for the
best selection of hotel accommodations.                  • The Web and Search Engine Optimization;
                                                         • Diversity Pipeline Initiatives;
Programming                                              • Strategic Planning: Application and Details on
  NABE sessions currently being planned for the            Process;
Annual Meeting include:                                  • IRS Developments & Criteria;
  • Arthur Brooks on The Future of Bars and the          • Membership Growth and Management;
    Next Generation (Opening Plenary);                   • HR Accountability in the Age of Technology;
  • HR Performance Evaluations;                          • IT Security;
  • What’s in the Future for Bars and the Internet?;     • Best Practices for Working with Sections and
  • Handling Conflict;                                     Committees;
                                                         • Team Building;
                                                         • Database Management and Understanding

      2008 NABE                                            Relational Databases;
                                                         • Outsourcing IT Functions;
                                                         • Managing Expectations in a Time of Instancy;
    Annual Meeting                                       • CLE Programs: Tracking/Cataloging Programs
                                                           and Developing Plans for Success;
             August 5-8, 2008                            • Effective Conference Follow-Through: What
    Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers                     Do You Do When You Get Home?;
            New York City, NY                            • Techies Advising Non-Techies;
                                                         • Young Lawyers: Perspectives on Leading
                                                           Change; and

      Register Now!
                                                         • Paul Gilbert on Change Implementation and
                                                           Management (Closing Plenary).

   Register by May 30th to receive $50 off                Be sure to check out the NABE Web site (www.
                                              in the coming weeks for additional
    the standard member registration fee!              programming details. nnn

                                                        Communicators Talk n May 2008                 8
Call for Nominations for Section
Leadership Positions
By Duane D. Stanley, Hennepin County Bar Association

   t is that time of year when we seek nominations
   and applications (self-nominations) for our
   leadership positions for the coming NABE
year, which begins immediately following the
annual meeting this August in New York. It
is a great opportunity to grow in leadership,              and applications
to have fun while working with a set of high-
performing professionals, and to give back to the
NABECOMM Section. Give it some consideration.
                                                           due by May 20!
My decade or so on the council and in officer
positions has provided considerable enjoyment,
and has enriched my professional life through
friendships of peers around the nation. I heartily
recommend it!
    Nominations/Applications should be sent to             Candidates should expect to attend at least two
me (Chair of the Nominating Committee) by May          of the three meetings held by the Council each year.
20. Please use the attached nomination form, and       These meetings are scheduled in conjunction with
mark it accordingly as to whether this is a self-      the Fall Workshop, the NABE Mid-year Meeting,
nomination or a nomination of someone else. If you     and the NABE Annual Meeting. Other meetings as
are nominating someone else let us know you have       needed are usually held by phone and discussion
talked to this person about his or her willingness     also takes place by e-mail.
to serve. It is also good to know if the nominee           By June 6, the Nominating Committee will
is willing to serve in a different position from the   submit a slate of candidates to the membership. The
one for which you are specifically nominating the      Committee may nominate one or more names for
candidate.                                             any open position. In addition, once the slate has
The following positions are available for              been announced, other individuals may—with the
2007-2008:                                             suitable number of member signatures—put their
  • Auto-fill: Chair-elect Francine Walker             names on the ballot prior to June 23. As of that
    becomes the Section’s Chair; current Chair,        date, in uncontested races, the nominated individual
    Mark Matthewson, becomes the Past-Chair            is automatically elected. For contested races, the
    and serves on the Council.                         Chair of the Section names an Elections Committee
  • New candidates may be nominated for: Chair-        that will produce a ballot and tally results in a
    elect, Treasurer and Secretary. These three        member election. For by-laws details, please visit
    are one-year positions. This year there will be
    three open positions on the Council by virtue      communications_bylaws.html. nnn
    of rotation (members serve two-year terms).
    None of our current officers have reached term     Duane D. Stanley is the Assistant Executive Director,
                                                       Hennepin County Bar Association. He is the Chair of the
    limits, so may be nominated to serve again.
                                                       NABA Communications Section Leadership Nominating
    If current members wish to be considered,          Committee. He can be reached at 612-752-6611 or
    they must submit an application also; the
    Committee does not automatically assume
    current officers wish to continue serving on the

                                                        Communicators Talk n May 2008                      9
                                                                                                 Re by 20!
                               NABE COMMUNICATIONS SECTION

                                 EXECUTIVE COUNCIL NOMINATION FORM
                                               Return by May 20, 2008

       This is a statement of interest by the nominee, a.self-nomination.
       This is a nomination of another individual by     .
       If this is a nomination of another individual:
            I      have
            I      have not
       received this person’s agreement to be nominated.

           Bar Association:
           Phone:                          Fax:                             E-mail:

To be considered for the following position(s):

                Vice-Chair (automatically succeeds to Chair next year)

                Secretary (1-year term)

                Treasurer (1-year term)

                Council Member (2-year term) – three positions are open

How flexible about being nominated for another position instead?

How long has nominee been a member of the section?

The Council meets at the Fall Workshop, the Annual and Midyear Meetings. How many of these
would the nominee be able to attend during the year?

Describe participation in NABE and/or Communications Section activities or service provided to
the section by the nominee.

Submit to Duane Stanley – by e-mail to, or by fax to (612) 752-6601. You may
also mail to the Hennepin County Bar Association, 600 Nicollet Mall, Suite 390, Minneapolis,
MN 55402.

                                                                 Communicators Talk n May 2008       10
Video Killed the Radio Star: Ushering In
a Period of Technological Change
Part I: So You Want to Make a Movie…
By Craig Sander, New Hampshire Bar News, (First of a Three-Part Series)

   f your Bar Association is seriously considering the     three. The advantage of having three CCD chips is
   production of audio/video content for its members       that each chip receives a different color light—one
   and the public, it is essential that the equipment      red, one green, one blue. The result is a much finer,
you use satisfies certain criteria. Often, organizations   sharper and detailed picture. This is essential when
see other companies putting together simple,               you are considering using your video for television
dynamic and informative A/V content and wonder             broadcast. A single-chip camera cannot capture
why they can’t do the same. They underestimate the         broadcast quality video.
quality of equipment needed and the amount of time            Even if you are not looking to broadcast the
necessary to create a decent A/V project.                  video on television or in another non-Web-based
   The result of that underestimation can be               format, the importance of using a high resolution
ugly—an organization goes out and buys a basic             camcorder cannot be underestimated. Whenever
video camera and a lavaliere microphone, or no             you format a video for the Internet—as can be
microphone at all, and the staff believes they are         done with the editing programs listed below—the
ready to roll. They run out and film their visionary       video is compressed so that users can easily access
idea and return to find low-quality video and              the video without gumming up their connection.
scratchy audio. And to top it off, they have no            Compression not only makes the video smaller,
idea how to bring the clips together to make their         but it also reduces the quality, since the process
vision complete. The resulting project is usually          removes “unnecessary” bits of information. If you
poor quality and often sinks the ambition of the           start with a low-quality video and compress it for
creator and kills support of the project within the        use on the Internet, the result, I assure you, will be
organization. The money is wasted, the time is             unwatchable.
wasted and the effort is wasted.                              Your camera should also have XLR-audio inputs,
   It is far better to spend the extra money at the        or at least offer an adapter that can take XLR audio
start on decent pro-sumer (professional-consumer)          inputs. This allows for “lossless” audio. This means
equipment. It will last longer than the consumer/          that what you hear is what records to the camera.
home market stuff, the quality will be better.
Don’t be put off by the suffix “pro”—these
cameras have the option of both fully automatic
control—read, “point and shoot”—and manual
control for those projects that are meant for
public consumption. Using it effectively will
require some training, but you don’t need to be
a Steven Spielberg either.
   Let’s take a look at what the beginner A/V
producer should have in his/her kit from the
Video Camera
   Digital video camcorders use a chip, called
a CCD (charged coupled device), composed
of millions of pixels, which absorb light and
convert it to an image. Consumer cameras have
one CCD chip, while professional cameras have

                                                            Communicators Talk n May 2008                    11
Without these XLR-inputs, your camera will not          Editing Software
be able to record high-quality sound. XLR-audio            There are two types of film editing: linear and
provides audio without noise—that static, scratchy      non-linear.
sound associated with lower-level microphones.             Linear editing means that you are editing your
This is another essential component when you want       film in-camera. You record your first scene, press
to broadcast video.                                     stop, record your second scene, press stop, etc. This
    The zoom on the camera should be optical, not       type of editing requires a layout beforehand and
digital. An optical zoom is created by placing two      leaves little room for error.
lenses against each other and then adjusting the           Non-linear editing is done by downloading all
distance between them to make the image larger or       of your collected clips and audio onto a computer
smaller. Optical zoom works much like the human         and then cutting and pasting it together. This is the
eye and therefore results in truer details and images   most versatile method as it allows you to cover
when you adjust the focal length (level of zoom). A     anything without a layout beforehand. You can
digital zoom expands pixels on the chip resulting in    record anything you like and then take or leave out
a fuzzier image… if you’ve ever taken a photo off       material as you wish. Note: This type of editing
the Web and tried to make it larger, you know what      requires software such as Adobe’s Premiere, AVID
I’m talking about. Most pro-sumer cameras today         or Apple’s FinalCut.
offer a combination of optical and digital zoom.           Basic editing software can be purchased for
    Examples of camcorders which satisfy these          $100, while the full packages of these programs can
requirements are the Canon XL series, the Canon GL      cost as much $6,000.
series (though they need an adapter for XLR audio)         [NOTE: In my opinion, it is impossible to
and Panasonic’s AG series. There are many other         purchase a decent broadcast quality camcorder in the
cameras that meet the same standards. The products      $0 - $2000 price range that is not pre-owned. If you
listed here, however, are the entry-level camcorders    aren’t willing to spend that much, or buy used, your
in a range that can go into the stratosphere. These     money is better spent renting from an A/V supplier.]
entry-level models cost between $2,500 and $6,000.         What can you do with a kit like this? This kit
Consider a high-quality used camcorder can give the     will allow someone with very little training—
same features at a fraction of the cost.                whoever uses it will need a short tutorial before
Microphone(s)                                           they’re ready to use it—to do the basic, point-
    The on-camera microphone, in most instances,        and-shoot video, such as is done with meetings,
is not effective if you expect a high-quality end-      interviews or other events.
product. Therefore, a good beginner production kit         The kit would also allow your Association to
will include two off-camera microphones: a lavaliere    create brief ads or PSAs, informational videos,
(lapel) microphone and a shotgun microphone.            vodcasts, etc., and it is mobile and durable enough
    A shotgun microphone picks up sound from            to be brought out into the field for special events.
one direction. This is useful when you’re trying to        Stay tuned for upcoming installments in the
capture voices or specific ambient sounds (shoes        “Ushering in a Period of Technological Change—
clicking, gavel pounding, crowd noise, etc.). Most      Three Part Series” including information on
shotgun microphones have switches that can adjust       preparing for YouTube and posting videos on your
the angle of sound capture (a whole traffic scene or    Web site. nnn
an individual car). A shotgun microphone can be
                                                        Craig Sander, Associate Editor, New Hampshire Bar
bought for as little as $50 for a decent microphone,    News, is professionally trained in photography and
to $900 for top-of-the-line.                            digital imaging and has created multimedia content
    A lavaliere microphone is good for a moving,        for newspapers and the NH Bar Association. Much of
single-subject. These microphones pick up only          the information detailed in this article came from his
direct sound, like a person’s voice when attached       experience as a staff photographer at a large New
                                                        Hampshire daily newspaper—which shall remain
to a lapel. These are very versatile for one-subject.   nameless—where he helped develop the creation
These can be wireless or wired and cost anywhere        process and content of the organization’s first forays
from $50 to $500.                                       into multimedia production.

                                                         Communicators Talk n May 2008                      12
NABECOMM Community News
                                   Five-year NABE        Bar Association. She has also been named
                               Communications            Graphic Design Specialist. Part of her new role
                               Section member            includes desktop publication of the Bar journal,
                               Johanna Merrill           Communiqué.
                               got married and
                               has moved to                 The Clark County Bar Association hired Angela
                               Minneapolis, Minn.,       C. Sablan as its Communications Specialist.
                               leaving her post at the   Sablan came to CCBA from the University of
                               State Bar of Georgia      Nevada, Las Vegas Foundation where she was
                               as Section Liaison.       the communications assistant in the development
                               Derrick Stanley has       communications department.
                               filled the vacancy
                               and comes to the Bar         With some 140 lawyers, judges, and members of
Johanna & Aaron Price          from an association       the press in attendance, the Boston Bar Association
                               in Washington, D.C.       recently held a reception celebrating Bonnie
He’s looking forward to the exciting challenges that     Sashin’s 20th year as Communications Director.
bar associations offer and getting to know other         Chief Justice Margaret Marshall of the Supreme
NABECOMM members.                                        Judicial Court of Massachusetts, a past president of
                                                         the BBA toasted Bonnie’s future success.
   Donna Parker, Advertising and Production
Coordinator at the New Hampshire Bar Association,
celebrated her 25th anniversary at the Bar
Association this year.

   Chris Crane, Web site coordinator for the New
Hampshire Bar, has gone from full-time to part-
time, as she transitions to a new career area. She is
going to school for massage therapy.

Section member
Adrienne Cornwall,
Managing Editor of                                       Many turned out to celebrate BBA Communications
The Philadelphia                                         Director Bonnie Sashin’s 20th year on the job.
Lawyer magazine,
gave birth to a                                             Stephanie Abbott, former director of
daughter, Anna                                           communications for the Clark County Bar
Elyse Cornwall,                                          Association, recently left her post after serving an
on April 30 at 4:56                                      amazing and fruitful eight years. She can now be
p.m., weighing in at                                     found spending time with her two young boys and
9 lbs, 3 ounces and                                      husband in the Las Vegas area.
measuring 21 inches.
Adrienne, husband                                           State Bar of Nevada has recently established
Chris and baby are all Anna Elyse Cornwall               a new Publications Department. Previously,
doing well!                                              publications fell under the umbrella of the CLE
                                                         team. In March, Jenni Smith was hired as the new
   In April 2008, Amy Strocchia celebrated               Publications Manager. nnn
her five year anniversary with the Clark County
                                                          Communicators Talk n May 2008                     13