Now that the elections are over, the holidays loom and with them a myriad of activities. If you happen to be the person who drew the short straw at your committee meeting, church or school and wound up being delegated as the publicity chair, first allow me to console you.
It’s a dirty job but someone has to do it and it’s you until you can fob it off onto some other unsuspecting boob.
So being the helpful person that I am, please allow me to share some tips that can help you get your items into our newspapers.
Know the deadlines: Get your material to us by 9 a.m. on Monday two weeks before the event takes place.
What’s the best way to do that? Email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Want to make sure we got it? Ask for a reply.
Please understand – amazingly many people do not – we have four editions: The Reminder (East Longmeadow, Longmeadow, Hampden, Wilbraham and the Sixteen Acres section of Springfield); The Chicopee Herald (Chicopee and Holyoke); The Springfield Reminder (Springfield) and The MetroWest Reminder (Westfield, West Springfield, Agawam and Southwick.)
Too many people still think we just have a paper in East Longmeadow. That hasn’t been the case since 1998.
We try to put your information in the edition that makes the most sense. In many instances it may go into more than one.
What do we want from you? The notice itself should follow the basics of who, what, when, why and how. Please in the name of all that is holy do not send us a press release written in all capital letters. I will toss it. Sorry.
Understand we will edit your piece. It’s nothing personal, just business.
If you want us to come to someplace, we need as much notice that you can give. Twelve hours is often not enough. With a small staff we have to schedule our time carefully.
On the subject of photos, I don’t want to hurt your feelings but if you send me a photo that is out of focus or poorly lit, I can’t use it. I know that Photoshop can do many miraculous things these days, but fixing focus and lighting are beyond its ability.
Please remember the better resolution makes better reproduction.
Also keeping your subjects in a photo down to four or five people is a help, as well. We want to print a photo so readers can see faces. The more people who have the less likely that is to occur.
Questions? Give me a call at 525-3247 ext. 103 or call Assistant Managing Editor Chris Maza at extension 123. We’re here to help.
Of course the absolute best way to get my attention is to wrap the press release around a decent cigar or a bottle of moderately priced single malt Scotch. Chris, by the way, is a craft beer expert. Just saying.
I’m kidding of course. We don’t really accept bribes or presents or gratuities, whatever you call it.
Seriously, here is something else to consider: if an event is an important fundraiser, you should also consider advertising. On several occasions I’ve had people say to me they were depending on the free publicity we provide to make the event a success. I’ve been blamed by some folks when the event was not as successful. People’s attention these days are pulled in many directions and advertising, along with what we can do in editorial, is a better way to insure your message is seen.
Agree? Disagree? Drop me a line at email@example.com or at 280 N. Main St., East Longmeadow, MA 01028. As always, this column represents the opinion of its author and not the publishers or advertisers of this newspaper.