American Coal - Issue 1, 2017 - 8
has flattened every mountain in Appalachia - that every stream in the region and anywhere mining is practiced is polluted,
that our miners live on minimum wage and are treated poorly. Telling the truth doesn't fit their narrative and if they did their
donations would dry up.
We often say these groups don't care about jobs. The truth is they do care about jobs - THEIR JOBS. They care about them
a lot. They just don't care about the jobs of coal miners and others they are willing to harm to fill their coffers. That is why our
stories must to be told to the people of America. America needs these stories. They need to see our faces, hear our voices, and
read our stories. They need to know that we are real people.
So tell me about the mom or dad who spends all day at work in a coal power plant and evenings on an athletic field
coaching. Tell me about the black hat that runs the roof bolter and spends his free time as a pastor ministering to the
needs of his community. The stories are there. I want to hear about companies that go above and beyond in reclamation or
volunteering in their communities.
I want to include the stories in ACC's various publications, including this bi‑annual magazine and our bi‑monthly newsletter.
They can be used to tell America who we are - who you are. I want to post them to our Coalblog and social media sites, which
are growing significantly - our followers on social media since I joined ACC last fall have nearly doubled already. All of these
outlets can be used to bring our stories to life for people across the country.
It is easy to demonize others when they aren't seen as "people" - when they see their "enemy" as "Big Coal" or "Dirty Coal."
But when you show them the toll their policies and donations take - hurting real, living, breathing men, women and children -
it becomes a lot harder to justify hurting them to help a bat or a salamander.
In addition to my time working for the West Virginia Coal Association, and my experience with social media, I have nearly
30 years of experience in journalism, including both print and broadcast writing, design and production. I have a good sense of
what the general public relates to. I also have the experience to communicate with editors who might otherwise be looking for
a reason to discard a news release or ignore a story idea.
These personal interest stories - properly done - can be a way to attract the attention of editors, especially when they can
tie it into a major news focus at the time. To have these stories truly resonate requires good storytelling that makes it clear to
the everyday person on the street why the issue affects them.
These personal interest stories are but one component of my plans as ACC communications director and editor of this
magazine. I am excited about the breadth and diversity of the ACC member and stakeholder base and want to reflect that
across our broad communications and publications platforms, across our advocacy programs and initiatives. I continue to
build our media list and I want to make sure that the major news editors and reporters around the country receive regular
copies of our publications and are regular viewers of our social media and Coalblog.
We can't do it as effectively without you, so I ask you, our readers, to help me. Send your stories about your friends and
your family to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Help me tell the people of the United States who coal people
really are. ■
8 * American
| Issue 1 2017 | Americancoalcouncil.org
8/13/15 12:14 AM