Upsides, downsides of producing a weekly magazine
One of the very few upsides of the loss my former colleague Brett Bentley to her new job at InConcert Sierra is that she is now a contributor to Prospector.
The reason this is so nice is that Brett, as former Prospector editor, knows exactly how to email a press release and photo in the way that will make it easiest for me.
So far, I’ve received two emails from Brett, who is now associate director of InConcert Sierra. Both are for concert events, one on Sept. 20 and the other on Sept. 27.
How I know this off the top of my head is that Brett, so very kindly, posts the exact date and nature of the event in the subject line of the email, and also on the title of the press releases.
When I’m scanning the 50 or more Prospector emails I receive weekly in the Prospector email folder, email@example.com, or in my own email, firstname.lastname@example.org, I don’t have to stop and open up her emails to see if it should be included that week in the Prospector, or whether I should hold it a week or two for an upcoming issue. I have the date right in front of me: I can make an instant decision.
It saves me a ton of time. Thank you, Brett.
Also, it saves me an irate phone call from someone whose event either didn’t appear in the exactly correct Thursday issue before their show — or whose event appeared in an issue a week earlier, an issue they never read.
I had one of those latter calls this week that left me alternately annoyed and frustrated. Not only were they not grateful that we gave them full (free) coverage of the event, but they never even read the issue that it was in.
Okay, so it was a week earlier than they wanted. Sorry. We do have an ad department where organizations can pay to place a promotional notice exactly when they want it to appear. Many do just that, thank you very much.
In Prospector, on the other hand, where the editorial copy is free, we do our best to get the word out as our limited space permits. Every effort is made to do this in a timely manner, hopefully with the greatest benefit to our readers.
Sometimes it’s not possible to match the issue with the exact show date. (Not an excuse, but a disclaimer: I may in the future run your event a week earlier than you wanted. I’m human, and I may need to fill a space. Mea culpa in advance. Actually, some organizations prefer an earlier announcement, so that attendees may do advance planning and make ticket purchases.)
However, I do think if people complain about which issue their event is in, they should at least have read the issue when it did appear. Nothing is so offensive to journalists as to have public relations people pitch stories to them when they have obviously have never read the publication, nor any of the editor’s or reporter’s work.
On a happier note, thanks to everyone — our extremely talented columnists and freelance writers, Brett and other highly professional publicists in Nevada County and numerous adept nonprofits and government organizations — who are my new partners in this job. I am blessed to connect with all of you and immensely grateful for your contributions.
May we all celebrate together the passion, creativity and artistic and musical gifts of this wonderful and special place — and, with any luck, do it at the right time, in the right place.
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