Leadership Marco is in full swing. The four-month course put on by the Marco Island Area Chamber of Commerce takes¬ local community members on an intensive learning experience. The class of 2017 is currently in the process of familiarizing themselves on all things Marco Island. From our history, to our local government, to tourism and hospitality—no educational stone will go unturned.
Last week the students participated in Media Day, where they learned the ins and outs of the local media platforms here on Marco Island, Naples and Fort Myers. As part of Media Day the Coastal Breeze News (CBN) gave a presentation to the class with Publisher Val Simon, Journalist/Copy Editor Jessica Hernstadt, Production Manager Don Haberkorn, and special guest Randall Kenneth Jones.
Presenter, Randall Kenneth Jones, is an award-winning writer, motivational speaker, actor and marketing and public relations guru. For his recent book, “Show Me,” he interviewed more than 100 celebrities and newsmakers. Jones has a long history in the news industry, including his work as a regular columnist and contributor for a number of local and national publications, including Coastal Breeze News. Those in attendance learned exciting news that in October, Jones will join the podcast, Nice Guys on Business.
Jones led the Leadership Marco students through an interactive mock press conference to give them an idea of what it’s like to work in the newspaper industry.
“I have a statement to read to you, the Marco Island press corps,” he said in his opening remarks.
Jones presented the group with a fictitious account of flooding on Marco Island and in Goodland that resulted in a beached manatee. The students acted the part of the reporters, asking Jones to comment on the details of his statement.
Leadership Marco student Kaitlen Magdalener of “Manatee News” asked, “Was the manatee injured?” Other students chimed in with follow up questions in an attempt to gain more information on the made up situation.
Following the press conference, Haberkorn charged the Leadership Marco class with designing a front page for the newspaper. The students were given stories, images, a cardboard template and glue sticks. Working in teams, they had to come up with headlines and decide which stories went where.
The goal of the mock press conference and subsequent creative exercise was to give the Leadership Marco students a taste of what the Coastal Breeze News team does on a daily basis. From covering local news stories to producing the pages of the paper, the students were able to immerse themselves in the world of a local community newspaper.
The Leadership Marco Class of 2017 will continue to meet for the next few months. The course will conclude with a graduation ceremony in January 2018.