Over the last week, I’ve come across three separate posts on facebook from people griping about this city’s media outlets. These individuals’ main complaint had to do with the fact that they had put on events that resulted in a great turnout, but zero coverage the members of the media.
Here at the Seeker, back before Covid took over the world, we used to organize several events a year. Personally, I also have been involved with helping with Ribfest, The Santa Claus Parade and the Toy Drive. I sympathize with event organizer who work so hard to give Cornwallites things to see and do. I know first hand how frustrating it can be when your hard work goes unnoticed and when your accomplishments are not acknowledged. Quite frankly, It hurts.
But I also know how frustrating it is to work in media and advertising.
See, small town media outlets don’t have unlimited access to resources, and yes, that includes staff. Our newsrooms are small and we often rely on readers, turned Roving Reporters, to send us stories and pictures to fill in the blanks, as we cannot be everywhere at once. (Although Mai-Liis does a fine job with her “out and about” column.) We also rely on advertisers to be able to pay the bills. When advertisers are scarce, our resources are cut down even more.
Because newspapers are the pulse of a community, there is a misconception that we know everything that’s happening. The truth is that we struggle to find all your events. We scour all the calendars we can find to compile a list that we post online, but getting people to come to our page and post their events on our calendar, which is free, is like pulling teeth! Why?
Because people falsely believe that social media alone will do the job. It doesn’t.
If you want to get coverage, a good place to start is to send a press release and make sure that:
- It mentions what it is for
- It mentions the time and date (and duration) of the event
- It is written in proper English
- You send in a picture to publish with the story–this is very important. We don’t publish without a picture.
Sending a release will accomplish 2 things:
- We can’t cover what we’re unaware of. You can’t possibly be mad at us for not covering your events if you don’t let us know it’s happening. There is ZERO percent chances we will show up if we don’t know about it. By sending a press release, you greatly increase your odds.
- Your event will end up in our calendar of events, therefore advertising it to our readers, for free!
One last thing. If you want support, you need to show support too…
I hate to say it but…
One of the people who posted this social media rant against media is a business to whom we have given a tremendous amount of coverage over the years. We’ve shown the love. We’ve covered everything they have done and even gave them the cover page from time to time. While we didn’t support them monetarily, we certainly saved them money! Yet, not once did they buy a paid advertisement from us. Not even a small $25 one. That’s ok. They don’t see the value we bring it. But after a while, it became less attractive for us spend time and money covering their happenings. Now, don’t get me wrong, we still show up, when we know about it, which we didn’t this time. However, we are left frustrated. Just like you are when your event doesn’t get attention.
We started The Seeker to help small business owners. Being business owners ourselves, we knew too well how expensive marketing can be and wanted to offer an alternative. We’re in your corner, always. But support is not a one way street. Money doesn’t grow on trees for us either. Every month, it’s like we have a target on our back. Small town media outlets are a dying breed. The struggle is real. So I want to thank everybody who does reciprocate the love. You make a difference and are the oxygen of this business.
Don’t worry, we’ve got your back too. In the end, we’re all in this together.
So what do you say? You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours?