Thoughts from the Publisher : Dealines and Press Releases

By Neena Strichart

We have had a busy and exciting week around the offices of the Signal Tribune. Our computers, mailbox and fax are full of requests for news items to be printed and holiday happenings to be shared. Unfortunately, our pages are limited and not every item can be included. It is frustrating for us, because we find ourselves having to leave out so many worthwhile non-profit events and various interesting press releases.
This week has been especially frustrating because a dozen or more organizations waited too long to contact us with their news. I’m afraid we look like the bad guys to some of those folks—but deadlines are deadlines and we can’t make exceptions without having to rework our final product. Think about it this way—the paper is like a jigsaw puzzle. When the puzzle is completed, it is completed. You can’t add one piece without taking out another. Similarly—when the space for a story or ad has been committed, taking it out leaves a hole.
Putting the paper together as a final document is an art— an art not usually appreciated unless one compares it with an inferior publication. We are lucky at the Signal. Our design editor Barbara Holbrook is indeed an artist extraordinaire. Oh, she makes it look easy with her fancy ways and slick tricks—but believe me, I wouldn’t want to tackle the task. I may be good at stacking a dishwasher for maximum volume (Steve would disagree), but Bard, as we call her, is a master at putting ads and stories where they belong—where they make sense to the readers. By doing so, our readers and advertisers are both winners—and we, in turn, win by putting out a product we can be proud of.
Now for those of you who want to submit a press release or article for consideration, please keep the following in mind…
• Send your submission by e-mail a week before you would like it to run. Faxed items are a pain for us to process.
• Always include a contact name and phone number for clarification.
• Include the who, what, when, where, why and how of the event or news.
• Around Town feature is for non-profit organizations or schools only.
• Don’t try to disguise shameless plugs as press releases— we know the difference.
• Don’t send us information about your store’s sale or month-end clearance as a news item—we won’t run it—buy an ad!
• Finally, don’t be greedy. Understand that we won’t run your item every time you send it even if you do stick to the above rules. We need to give every one an equal chance.

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