#MakeYourWeirdWork

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Beat Calls Y'all

When I was an associate producer, I felt beat calls were a dreadful task. I mean I absolutely despised picking up the phone to make my stations daily list of beat calls. However, no matter how much I despised it, it was part of my job.

Contrary to popular beat caller belief, beat calls are important. By touching bases with different agencies, one can discover breaking news and/or develop much needed contacts. Since I knew the afore information was true, I performed the task anyway.

One day I got the bright idea to try to make beat calls my most loved work duty. Now how in the world would I make that happen?

I've always been told I have a bubbly personality, and I've been complimented about my positive attitude - on more than one occasion. I decided to let those two attributes shine during the beat calls.

When the person at the given agency answered the phone, I'd ask them "how are you?" Sometimes I'd even share a little joke or whatever else I could do to show some personality.

I decided to show an interest on another level other that news (just because I'm a news nerd doesn't mean everyone else is a news nerd too).

As an AP, I ended up breaking some news stories after my beat call attitude changed. I was able to develop relationships over the phone. People trusted me. They were not afraid to give me information. That made me feel good.

When other people made beat calls, they would tell me how a person from the police department asked about me. When I called - after a beat call hiatus - the person who answered the phone would say "Kalisha, where have you been; I missed your calls."

That way of thinking - taking a negative and turning it into a positive - made my job easier. It also brightened the other person's day too.

Managers at my station noticed that I took pride in the simple tasks. That helped me move up the professional ladder at that station.

The story inside this story: You never know how your presence can impact someone else. You never know how your presence can impact you. So, make the most out of every opportunity. It could be the gateway to something great.


#MakeYourWeirdWork,

#TheJournalismEducator