Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Getting more reporting into the news

September 19, 2010

At this year''s ISSA/INTERCLEAN® convention and trade show in Las Vegas in early September, CM e-News Daily™ became like a mini-online daily newspaper about the cleaning industry''s biggest event.

Senior Editor Rich DiPaolo and I reported on major show events and innovative new products, and tried to give e-News readers, whether in Las Vegas or not, a sense of the convention and the trade show.

The three-day ISSA Special Report featured on-the-spot reports on the show''s ribbon-cutting opening, Bill Cosby''s keynote address, a certification class for ISSA''s Cleaning Industry Management Standard, and the most innovative products, as determined by show attendees.

We did three stories a day, but inevitably could not get to, or could not fully report, lots of interesting ISSA/INTERCLEAN stories.

While Rich and I tried to do as much reporting as possible, we weren''t there just to be reporters for the e-News. We also met with exhibitors and covered the CM/Cleaning & Maintenance Management® magazine booth for a good part of the show.

Here are some behind-the-scenes stories about how the ISSA Special Report made it into the e-News.

Being in the Pacific Time Zone posed a daunting deadline challenge.

The e-News is normally published between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Eastern Time. So the deadline for getting our reports back to Assistant Editor Aaron Baunee in our upstate New York office was 11 a.m. in Vegas.

This got a little tricky with two stories — the show opening, which occurred at 10 a.m. Tuesday, and Cosby''s speech, which ended somewhat after 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Both stories could be pre-written a bit, but the point of this whole thing was on-the-spot reporting, not rewriting press releases.

The show opening story featured an interview with Dianna Bisswurm, ISSA''s director of industry outreach, who had up-to-date facts and figures about how the event was going.

I interviewed Dianna right after the ribbon was cut, then raced over to the Internet café to write and file the story.

It''s a good thing I didn''t spend time Tuesday night pre-writing the Cosby story, since what he spoke about bore little resemblance to what the program promised.

Cosby did not mention his book, and instead told a bunch of entertaining stories, some actually about the cleaning industry.

I filed past the deadline, so the e-News went out a little late.

Obviously, not everything we saw and heard got into the e-News. For example, on Thursday, past the last deadline, a regional sales manager for a cleaning products maker, whose booth was across the way from ours, came over to chat and said that the company overall did OK at the show, but for him, the show was great.

He said his territory was western Canada, and while his customers won''t go to a show in Florida or Chicago, they always go to Vegas, ready to do business.

But, others said that Vegas can be a minus — more people may come to town for the show, but with so much going on outside the convention center, many people were not at the trade show for all of its 18 hours. On the first two days, the crowds thinned noticeably as the afternoon wore on.

On Thursday, even though it was held past the deadline, I covered the Innovation Awards — the enthusiasm of the winners was remarkable. And, after flying back that night, we got the Innovation and best customer service winners into Friday''s e-News.

Another recent opportunity for getting more reporting into the e-News arose when we got a press release from a variety of cleaning product manufacturers and associations voicing strong opposition to Green Seal''s revised GS-37 standard for institutional and industrial cleaning products.

Since this is a pretty big deal, given that that certification has become the standard for green cleaning in school programs in New York and Illinois, we decided to do some reporting, rather than just putting the release in the e-News.

Via e-mail, we gave Green Seal a chance to respond to the release, and the manufacturers a chance to add anything to the release.

The result was a balanced story about this important issue, rather than dueling press releases.

We will continue to look for opportunities to do more reporting at CM e-News Daily, as our way of continuously improving the best source for news of the cleaning and maintenance industry.



For more CM e-News coverage of this issue, log on to www.cmmonline.com and type ISSA into the Archive Search box on the upper right of the homepage. To sign up for the free CM e-News Daily™ e-mail, log on to www.cm-enews.com/forms/cmenews_optin.asp.