Can’t we think more creatively than fences, Arcata? »
Opinions expressed in columns, cartoons and Letters to the Editor do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of the Arcata Eye. Submissions are welcome, may be reluctantly edited for length, or, if extraordinarily long, boring, incoherent or editing-intensive, tossed.
Letters will be printed on a space-available basis and must be signed with a real name and include a phone number. We don’t publish anonymous or “name withheld” letters because it keeps the crap level down when people have to take responsibility for their expression.
If you wish to communicate privately and don’t want your letter published, be sure and say “Not for publication” or something like that, or just don’t include a phone number, which ensures that your letter won’t run. Letters on local topics always have priority.
E-mail does not have to be re-typeset, and reduces delays and typograhpical errors, and cuts way back on paper use, too.
Also, see our snarky Press Release Guidelines below.
Mildly Objectionable Deadlines
Letters to the Editor and Opinion columns: Noon Thursday
News releases: 5 p.m. Friday
Advertisements: 5 p.m. Friday
News releases: news @ arcataeye.com
Letters to the Editor, opinion: editor @ arcataeye.com
Advertising: adsales @ arcataeye.com
Arts & Entertainment: fun @ arcataeye.com
Newsroom: (707) 826-7000
Advertising: (707) 826-7535
How to get a press release published in the Arcata Eye (and other papers)
1. Write it for maximum useability, observing standard form. Take a look at the part of the paper where you’d like to see your information (Glances, Blinks, Clubs, etc.), and submit in a similar style. Basically, avoid extraterrestrial punctuation.
Here’s an example of a perfect press release:
The Arcata Eye invites subscribers, contributors, advertisers and sycophants to the annual Eye Ball, Saturday, Oct. 18 from 8 to 10 p.m. at E and O Bowl, 1417 Glendale Dr., off State Route 299 in Blue Lake. The event features free bowling, pizza, music, access to bowling shoes and the incomparable Brit-metal stylings of Sad Wings of Destiny. (707) 826-7000, firstname.lastname@example.org
See? It’s simple. The blurb uses standard date and time expressions, tells the reader something about the event and offers contact information. Just substitute your specifics where it matters and you’re in!
Note: Your press release might be longer than the above example, which is fine as long as it uses conventional punctuation.
General do’s and don’ts.
• E-mail all releases to news [at] arcataeye.com or fun [at]arcataeye.com. Emergency faxes only.
• Don’t use pronouns like “we” or “you” in the release; i.e., “We invite you to our super-fun event.” Use the group’s name: “Bowlers of Arcata host a multi-lane showdown,” etc. Similarly, “You can learn exciting new things” should be, “Participants can learn the mating calls of the Northwestern Wapiti, Saturday, March 13,” etc.
• Don’t use ALL CAPITAL LETTERS (that’s called shouting) or multiple exclamation points like this!!! That’s so high school.
• Italicize websites and e-mail addresses. Both are words and should have a period after them if they end a sentence.
• For time expressions, remember that a.m. and p.m. are lowercase acronyms punctuated with periods, like this: 9 a.m. Or 10 p.m. Not 9AM or 9:00am. BAD! WRONG!
If you do nothing else correctly, don’t make us fix your “pm!”
• Try and use the present tense. Don’t say your group “will meet.” Say it “meets.” Don’t say you “will be holding” an event. Say you “are holding” it.
• Include area codes with phone numbers.
• When giving a date, always include the day of the week, spelled out. The reason is that people deserve to know the day of the week something happens on so that they can make a quick mental note to fit your event into their weekly schedule. If you make them go look up the day of the week on a calendar, they probably won’t, and all is lost.
• There’s no such thing as “Tues., June 20th” or “September 2nd.” It would be Tuesday, June 20 and Friday, Sept. 2.
• Absolutely do not under any circumstances whatsoever send flyers for us to rewrite into a press release unless you are prepared to pay the going rate of $20 per hour. Otherwise, we probably won’t. Exceptions: You’re old and funky or young and dumb.
• Generally, write clean. Don’t use gratuitious capitalization or freaky punctuation, weird fonts or colors.
• Attach any photos as jpeg files. We can’t use them if they’re embedded in a document.
• Don’t use that dopey Who/What/When/Where format – no newspaper publishes items in that form, and we don’t have time to rewrite your press release for you.
• Composition titles, such as plays, movies, books, etc., are italicized. Individual songs, or chapters from a book, would be in quotation marks.
• Don’t start the announcement with a date or other boring details. Start with the exciting part, then give specifics after that.
• Don’t call anybody a fascist or a Nazi.
• “Alot” is not a word. Neither is “definately.”
For more tips on correct usage, go buy an AP Stylebook or check the innumerable online resources.
If you have questions, call and ask them. We’re happy to help, and it makes life easier for everyone to do it right the first time.