Wick Communications

Fill ‘er up with regular

In Ideas on March 1, 2012 at 11:33 am

Get out of the office. Go to the nearest diner. Sit down. Order a slice of pie. … Yes, one of those big, decadent slabs that will add a half a pound to your waist, and tell Shirley to go ahead and cover it with ice cream. Now … Listen to the conversation around you.

How long will it take for someone to bemoan the high price of gas?

Sometimes we fail to cover the most obvious things. I think that is often the case for things that pinch our pocketbooks. Perhaps we think the price of gas is an issue so obvious that we don’t have to cover how the local community is dealing with it. Maybe if we think everyone is talking about gas prices that we don’t have anything to add.

I bet we do. Here’s a place to start.

Depending on the size of your market, you may be able to recreate a map like this by making a dozen calls. It would only be a snapshot, a single day’s prices, in the paper. But it will get folks’ attention. What does it show? Are prices routinely more along the Interstate? And why is that? Why are they more – or less – in your town than in the town 20 minutes away? How will these prices hinder every other business in town? Do locals agree with the Republican presidential candidates and lay the blame at the feet of the president? Are there area residents with cars powered by cooking oil or electricity? How is that going for them? …

You can envision a great layout, perhaps with a chart showing historic prices in your town, the aforementioned map and maybe some man-on-the-street headshots. And you can answer some of those questions.

Just an idea. Keep listening as you eat your pie. You might hear tell of another good one.

Clay

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