APME Dolls Up Its Coming Conference

By: Joe Strupp

The Associated Press Managing Editors want you at their annual conference this year in Washington, D.C., and they’re sending some pretty unique ambassadors to invite you along. Meet the APME Conference Emissaries ? miniature dolls, also known as “mini-editors,” who are being mailed to unsuspecting managing editors as part of the group’s push for attendance at the annual event.

The goal: for each recipient to write about and photograph the mini-editor enjoying the local flavor of a particular city, post the doll’s “experiences” on the APME Web site, and send the emissaries on to the next managing editor, with a note urging them to attend the conference. Organizers hope to have each of the 10 dolls visit no fewer than eight newspapers before the October 2007 gathering.

“I hope it will attract people to the Web site to see their antics,” says Adell Crowe, a USA Today editor and APME promoter, “so the whole membership will be attracted to the site.” Postings so far have included 2007 Pulitzer winner Hank Klibanoff of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution writing about his visiting emissary, “Wordy,” dining on chili dogs at Atlanta’s famed Varsity eatery, and Bobbie Jo Buel of the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson introducing doll “Mojo Max” to the southwest custom of “chugging Coronas” on a Friday evening.

“It is a real surprise, because we haven’t told people who is on the list,” says APME President Karen Magnuson. “We wanted to be new and different.” It appears they have succeeded.

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