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"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
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Wednesday, October 26th, 2016
Volume ∞ Issue ∞

One Moment, Please... Continuous Improvement

Fri, Jun 7th, 2013
Posted in All Commentary

By Jason Sethre


Fillmore County Journal &

Olmsted County Journal

Cell: 507-251-5297

You’ve probably seen our recent advertisements showcasing a few employees who make the Fillmore County Journal a reality every single week. You’ve only seen the tip of the ice berg. We have many more people behind the scenes that you’ll get to read about as our “Community Ads” appear in the Journal each week.

Our goal with these advertisements is to demonstrate what we feel is important for our company to be fully vested in the betterment of the communities we serve. At the top of each advertisement, you’ll see the phrase, “We Live Where We Work.” We feel this is important. And, it’s not just about living where you work. It is about getting involved in the community. We need to give back. And, not just us at the Fillmore County Journal. I think everyone has the opportunity to help make their community and the world a better place.

And, while I am proud of our talented and dedicated team, and all the good things we do, I am also our worst critic. I have to be. I have to take a step back and look at our company from the eyes of our customers -- readers and advertisers. We can never settle.

I have always been a firm believer that we can always do better. It doesn’t matter what we do, we can always do better. We never want to assume that we’ve arrived at our best.

On occasion, we have readers point out errors, whether grammatical or factual. And, we appreciate the fact that our readers are paying attention to the information we are providing the public. When we run a correction, we realize that what we provide to the communities we serve is relevant to so many people. And, we need to strive to be at our best. Unlike many other jobs, when we make a mistake it is completely exposed to the public. There are not many jobs in which a person can be so vulnerable to public scrutiny. We consider this a good thing. Without relevance, we would quickly fade.

With all of this said, I know that we do a great job in many areas, and it all relates to our greatest asset - our people.

We have the most talented team of graphic designers of any newspaper in Southeast Minnesota. As a matter of fact, while other newspapers have conducted layoffs or downsized their production departments, eliminating and outsourcing graphic design positions to other states and even other countries, our local design team continues to stand out in the creative crowd. It’s amazing to me that our weekly newspaper in Fillmore County has more graphic designers than the largest daily newspaper in Southeast Minnesota. We have five and they have none. Our local designers live where they work and they interact with our clients all the time. They know this area, which helps them better serve the needs of clients. To me and to our advertisers, this is priceless.

Likewise, our salespeople also live in the communities where they work. They know their clients and their primary goal is to help their customers succeed in business. We couldn’t ask for a more caring, creative and intuitive team of salespeople.

And, our local reporters are dynamic in that they truly care about the communities they cover in Fillmore County. They keep their thumb on the pulse of our communities. Our reporters live among the people they serve. Every week, we have a flood of stories to choose from as reporters bounce story ideas in my direction.

Also, while many people may not realize the importance of a well-organized distribution system, we have a team (myself included) that helps to make that a streamlined process every week. It’s not easy, rain or shine, but very important. When you see one of our company vans dropping off newspapers at the local Post Office or a rack location, we are doing our part to make the Fillmore County Journal the most accessible newspaper in the area.

While we have a fantastic team, we want to be even better. Our team takes personal pride in providing you with the best local newspaper in the region. And, if you don’t feel where are there yet, then please tell us why. We are always open to suggestions.

What can we do better? What do you think of our news coverage in particular communities? Too much of one town, not enough of others? What are we missing? What do we publish that you think is a waste of space? We want to know.

In today’s Fillmore County Journal, please look for a survey in which we are asking for reader feedback. We will publish this in the newspaper on a regular basis, soliciting your pure honesty. And, if you’d feel more comfortable submitting your survey anonymously, that’s fine, too.

Just as I have said in past commentaries, this is your community newspaper. Your feedback will continue to help us improve and earn your relevance.

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