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Valley News and Views
Drayton , North Dakota
July 10, 2014     Valley News and Views
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July 10, 2014

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Page 2 July 10th, 2014 iiii~i !ili!!i ~ ~ ~ ~zz~i~: ~z~ ~:~ ~ Valley News and Views The "Media Militia" is being called to duty from the "reserves" to help a comrade. Our Veteran editor, a one- man newspaper machine of the Valley News, is scheduled for surgery in August. For seven years, he's been at the helm of the newspaper to nurture its growth and capture the personality of the community. Valley News is now available online for distant viewers and on Facebook for viewers to enjoy. It will take more than a brigade to take up the charge while he is recovering, especially because we are all "light" in our skills to manage what he himself accomplishes on a weekly basis for print, on the Web, and in the community. He has young students from school learning about media. He has editor friends elsewhere, and numerous people in the community would like to help in some way. Hiring someone as a substitute may not be a viable or single solution. In the past, Larry has had editor friends, who are retired, come in for a week or two so he could go on vacation and they did a great job. However, I never knew that Larry left town for more than a few hours, because he enjoyed the social contact so much and perhaps his "touch" was always needed. Larry is a military Veteran who understands that teamwork can meet many challenges if the resources and organization are made available and a workable plan is in place. To date, it is not publically known what the needs are, (Larry may have many needs covered) but we can speculate on three areas of challenges. Each person has to decide how one might help from the talent and time as is available. Personal needs for mail, etc, and care of property are usually handled by family, close friends, and neighbors. For me, I'm spontaneously offering to help in three ways (without consulting with Larry). First is a team approach for the publication of ValleyNews for several weeks, because it requires some transitional time for organizing. I can draw on my experience as Features Editor of the Norwegian American Weekly in Seattle and "Wayfinders" columnist for Scandinavian Press Magazine to work with others, more knowledgeable than myself, in daily operations. The point is if the weekly tasks were divided systematically, the challenge could be easier than for one or two persons. Another possibility is that at UND in the Community Engagement Center, a "Neighbor Newspaper" is published by students and they do a remarkable job. Perhaps during the summer, some of these students could be recruited as interns under supervision. My dreamy choice, as interim president of the UND "Military Association of College Volunteers," is if we could mobilize a team of five recent returnees (out of 750) who are studying for new careers - some in media - to have an experience that they can put on their r6sum6s'. Military members are very committed to engaging in community programs. Second is the cost of such specialized medical care. Few insurances will cover all costs, except Veterans hospitals, and most coverage's can carry staggering co-pays. My offer here is to help set-up some fund-raising program, using video and social media platforms for greater reach. My son in California is a professional filmmaker in raising money for children's diseases, and we have worked together on a project or two that could have application here. Thirdly, I have submitted a grant to NDHC for a project starting July 15th, titled "Stories of Hometown Veterans." A part of this proposal is to create a model of multiple funding for community projects. The story of a "barn raising" initiative in a community that tells Larry's story, and others, is a good starter. I've written a weekly column for Valley News for over five years, headlined "DakotaTrails and Tales," and I feel that I know Larry pretty well. I enjoy the Norwegian jokes, the fun-hearted stories and his commitment to the Drayton community. We refer to each other as "the other brother, Larry," as we have a brotherhood in media. It's time we take up the charge to help out one of our own. Marketing Small Businesses Tools Vital for Courtesy Helen Volk-Schill, Marketing makes many small-business owners nervous. They aren't sure just how to approach it in terms of an overall focus. Nor do they know what to do when bombarded with a constant stream of articles touting the new "must-do" marketing approaches. "The typical response of business owners when facing these issues is to go one of two directions," says Helen Volk-Schill, Extension agent of Pembina County. "The first direction is to run some ads, contribute to local fundraising efforts and join local civic organizations. "The second approach is to try every new tool that comes along but often with no thought as to how each tool, or if each tool, fits into the marketing plan," continues Volk-Schill. Two issues arise with both of these approaches. First, the business owner has no plan or goal for marketing. Second, without goals, trying to decide what tools to use becomes nearly impossible. The glitter and idea of new tools becomes the deciding factor instead of what each tool offers. "It's knowing what you want to achieve that should drive your marketing effort," says Glenn Muske, the North Dakota State University Extension Service's rural and agribusiness enterprise development specialist. Pembina County Extension Office "This means knowing who your potential customers are, where they are located and how to reach them. It is this information that should guide the selection of the best marketing tools to use." Some of the traditional marketing tools such as meet and greet business cards and signage or visual pull, offline and online, still are great tools. And nothing can replace the brand ambassador, or that customer who shouts out how great a job you are doing. But on the flip side, nothing can hurt like the negative review that a dissatisfied customer offers. Mentioning brand ambassadors or dissatisfied customers brings in the idea of the global marketplace and some of the shiny, new marketing tools available. Where once the dissatisfied customer told maybe 20 people, today the world is his or her stage through newtools such as online review sites or social media. Similarly, the ambassador is of great help. Today's consumer puts a huge amount of trust in these online comments, even when coming from people they don't know. E-commerce, mobile, location-based marketing and social media represent just some of the new marketing tools that small- business owners can use. Each tool may have a place in the marketing plan. So what's right in terms of shiny, new marketing tools or tried-and-true old standbys? It depends. The small- business owner's knowledge of his or her customers, goals and capacity should be the deciding factor on what to use. Business owners shouldn't select marketing tools based on what those tools have done for someone else or the promises made about their effectiveness. Two final notes: First, even with a careful selection of tools, no results are guaranteed. That is why the owner constantly must evaluate what's working and what's not and make the appropriate adjustments. Second, more new tools always will be coming along and the customer also will change. Thus, what works today may not be the tool for tomorrow. Effective marketing can While on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation south of Bismarck, he gave a message of encouragement to all of the residents in Indian Country. He promised a better future for Indian children by breaking down the old cycles that have handicapped progress on Indian Reservations. The common theme of his proposals was the idea of giving Native- Americans greater control of their environment. Every Native-American deserves the chance to work hard and get ahead, he said. So he talked economic development. "That means creating more jobs and supporting small businesses in places like Standing Rock," he said. From there, he went on to propose returning control of Indian education to tribal leaders, with additional resources and support so tribes could reform their schools. While the President was holding out new hope for a distressed people, Senators Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) were appropriately touting the need for more research of Indian problems. Not to be left out of the parade, North Dakota State University was promoting an American Indian Pubic Health Resource Center, consisting largely of academic programs some distance from ground zero. Having chaired the North Dakota Indian Affairs Commission for Governor George Sinner for four years, my experience tells me that there is good reason to be News we can use? Call the News Line 701 360-3005 Or Email Subscribe or renew your subscription to Valley News and Views Online by going to skeptical. I have become inoculated against the oversupply of rhetoric and undersupply of everything needed to transform rhetoric into action. As for the President's proposals for economic development on reservations, that is a pipedream. The folks in the reservation power structure like to hear such talk but it is unrealistic. Economic opportunities for Native- Americans cannot flourish within the perimeters of reservations. To share in the modern economy, Native-Americans must think and participate beyond reservations. It does no good to talk about new economic opportunities as long as thinking is confined to the geographic bounds of the reservation. The casinos were supposed to be the answer to unemployment. They provided some jobs but unemployment on reservations continues to be high and will remain high as long as the only acceptable employment must be on reservations. Then there is the President's proposal to delegate more authority over schools. If there is authority to be delegated, it will not change education on the reservations. The heart of the education problem, which is the root of reservation unemployment, is the same as it is in non-Indian territory- motivating young people to get an education and become employable. Russ McDonald, chairman of the Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe, got the message. "No matter what kind of race you are, no matter where you come from, if you're living in poverty and you become educated, you have the chance to pull yourself out." The solution is not deciding who turns the lights on but getting students in the classroom. We keep coming up with temporary answers for permanent problems because they require little courage and cost less money. Reservations have never been good places for Native-Americans. They are even worse today because the American economy and society have become nationalized. Isolated pockets of geography may have been feasible 200 years ago but not today. While Native-Americans deservea greater share of the publicresources, performance and accountability must be integral parts in the delegation of more authority. Simply strengthening the parochialism of reservations is not an answer. Now Hiring: Public Works Superintendent for the City of Pembina The city is looking for an honest, self-motivated individual that works well with others. This full-time position requires the ability to operate and maintain equipment, large and small. The successful candidate will also secure all necessary water / wastewater and applicator licenses within a reasonable timeframe. Preference will be given to applicants near or with-in the city limits of Pembina. Benefits include retirement plan, paid vacation, holidays and sick leave. All applicants must have a valid driver's license and will be subject to pre-employment and random drug/alcohol testing as required by city policy. Salary DOE. For a job description and application, please contact the Pembina City office at 701-825-6819 or email For consideration, applications must be received by July 1 lth at 4 pm. paybig dividends. It demands : ...... a market understanding and .... ....... a selection of the best tools ..................... to use, whether traditional ..... savings account is a great or new and shiny. Each business owner needs to find his or her best path. wayto save for the down payment on a home, a new car, a boat, For more help with a college education or the vacation of a lifetime. putting your marketing plan together and deciding what tools to use, visit NDSU's small-business support With a savings account, your money is always available in case of website at edu/smallbusiness and an emergency. When you save with us, we keep your money sign up for the monthly safe. Your deposits are FDIC Insured to at least $250,000. 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