Tuesday Apr 26 2011
Editor's view: Taking a peek inside the editor's e-mail
By: Don Chaddock, Telegraph Managing Editor
Here’s a common question I’m asked: “What can I do to make sure my press release gets in the paper?” I receive requests for coverage and press releases from countless fundraisers, nonprofit groups, schools, theatrical companies, real estate offices, businesses, scout troops, service clubs and bands. With so much coming through my e-mail, how do you get your message to me in a clear manner? For starters, make sure something at the top of the release lets me know it’s local in nature. Use keywords such as Folsom or El Dorado Hills at the top (or other regional areas like Orangevale or Rancho Cordova). When e-mailing it (the preferred method), use something other than “press release” in the subject line. I just counted 49 e-mail messages with that as the only wording in the subject line and they are all sitting in my inbox. I receive hundreds of press releases every week from all over the country. I do my best to contact those I’ll never run (a park in Virginia, for example), but getting off someone’s e-mail list isn’t easy. So, I sift through all those junk e-mails to get to our local folks. But, many times someone in Sacramento believes they are “local” to a Folsom or El Dorado Hills reader and will use wording to get me to open the e-mail. Only after giving it a quick glance do I realize it isn’t something I’m interested in, so it ends up in the electronic circular file. Unfortunately, there are some actual local organizations who fall through these cracks because they don’t include the keywords I mentioned. Without those words or some other note to let me know it is something I should read, those e-mails get chucked out with the rest. When submitting a photograph, try to include it with the same e-mail as the press release and photo caption details. When they come in to me in bits and pieces, it is much more difficult to sort through on deadline day. Also, I can’t reasonably guarantee that every local press release will see ink, but I do my best. Odds & Ends If you’re a golfer, be sure to mark May 23 down in your calendar. That’s the day the Rotary Club of Historic Folsom holds their annual Gold Rush Invitational golf tournament at Empire Ranch Golf Club. The tourney benefits the Folsom Play For All Park, a playground allowing kids with disabilities to play alongside able-bodied children. Cost is $100 per player. If you’d like to know more, visit goldrushinvitational.com or call (916) 799-9492. Don Chaddock is the managing editor of the Telegraph. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.