So you think your computer is ancient?
Many journalists are working on computers that are even older than yours. So says John I. Carney, city editor of the Shelbyville Times-Gazette in Tennessee in his list of tips titled “Have Pity on Your News Staff.”
It’s must reading, even if you’re dealing with journalists who work on the most up-to-date equipment. John’s caveats include:
—Never send a press release as an attachment, or as a PDF file.
—Make sure all photos that you’re offering journalists are high-resolution, scanned at 300 dots per inch.
—Remember that older computers like his iMac installed in 1999 can’t read thumbnail-size photos.
—Never embed your photos into a Word document.
By the way, notice that at the end of the tips, John mentions his personal blog. If you’re trying to get into his newspaper, reading this blog is one of the most valuable ways you could be spending your time.
Why? Because city editors are the heartbeat of a newsroom and decide which news events will and won’t be covered. What better way to build a relationship with him than to read his blog and comment on it?
In just a few minutes, I learned all kinds of interesting information about him. He has a favorite shrimp gumbo recipe. He and his brother stood in line for the stand-by audience for the Jimmy Kimmel show but failed to get in. And he’s a game show geek.
Are you checking to see if the journalists you’re trying to get in front of blog, then using that information to try to build relationships with them? If not, set up a Google Alert for their name and Google will alert you whenever their name appears online.