Tom Butzler, National Winner for his Personal Column at the Lock Haven Express

Tom Butzler worked hard to develop a great column through interactions with his local paper, earning him the highest award available to NACAA's Columnists, the 2015 National Winner in Communications for Personal Columns.

Tom has a column, in Lock Haven’s The Express, under the standing line “Keeping It Green”. He continuously submits several of his own photographs with the written column to add a visual component to attract the reader to the column.  Tom left it up to the editor to determine which ones they want to show.  The information is submitted via The Express’s virtual newsroom; therefore, it is never prepared with letterhead.  At times, He tries to keep the writing light and a bit humorous, but always with the goal that information is being disseminated to the reader.  This style of writing was used in the June 27th column on trampoline gardening where he talked about using old trampoline covers as a mulching material.  On the May 30th column, the readers were challenged to try to distinguish the difference between poison-ivy and Virginia creeper. Tom gave the newspaper two suggestions on how to showcase the pictures and they went with the idea of placing pictures on different pages and having the readers try to distinguish the difference between the two after reading the column.  One photo featured on the paper’s front page to tease the reader to the main article located on another page.  A Nikon D3100 was used for submitted pictures.  The Express has a daily circulation over 10,000.  Small town and rural central Pennsylvania affords the opportunity to interact with readers on a regular basis and receive many positive comments on the column.