John White: You oughtta be in pictures, and articles

You want your kick-butt local happenings and sporting events in the paper and on our website.

One of my biggest pet peeves.

I want a newspaper and website full of kick-butt local content. You want your kick-butt local happenings and sporting events in the paper and on our website.

We’re like peanut butter and jam, you and I.

I know that the community’s lifeblood runs through its volunteers and service groups. You see evidence of that every week. I also know that we can’t get to every event we’d like to cover, and we wish those volunteers and service groups could send us content that we can run in said paper and website.

Cue this brilliant idea from Andrea Ryman and Destination Castlegar. She’s coordinated a gathering of all of the service groups and entertainment leaders in the community to come together for a session at The Sandman on Nov. 22 at 7 p.m. The initial concept was to ensure there were no unintentional overlapping dates for major events throughout the year. But during a recent coffee meeting, we realized it would also be a great chance to teach the community the best ways to get their events in the news.

So the Castlegar Chamber of Commerce and Destination Castlegar are partnering up with us to bring the citizens of Castlegar some new tools to help you deliver the best event with the best coverage.

I’ll be popping in for a short presentation on the things I look for as an editor, and the best ways to submit photos and copy for consideration to maximize impact and exposure. Here are some quick examples that we’ll discuss in detail in my presentation:

Scheduling tips

Give enough notice: Sending an email the morning of your event is a solid way to guarantee we won’t be able to come out and cover it. We have limited resources and spread ourselves around several communities in the region, so the more notice, the better the chance we can juggle our schedules to get to your happening. Three weeks ahead of the average event should work. A couple of months for a major one is advisable.

Go to Andrea’s event: By working with all of the other groups, you can avoid scheduling your event at the same time as that other event that draws hundreds of people and their money.

Photo submissions

Cheque presentation alternatives: If you’d like to highlight an important donation or fundraiser, do so in a way that will be of visual interest to the readers. Have the people involved illustrate how the money will help. Say you’re donating to the food bank … set up a time where you can go down there and stock shelves for the photo to help draw in the reader.

Tight and bright: Be sure to get nice and close to your subject, and try to have the sun or light source behind you for best light and contrast. It’s better to focus on one or two people in the photo, as giant groups of people are less visually interesting, especially in print. Their heads should be no smaller than your thumbnail, as a guide.

These are just teasers of the “wisdom” I‘ll be imparting at The Sandman. You don’t want to miss this.

Andrea would like you to RSVP by Nov. 20 at 4 p.m to or by calling 250-365-6313. I’ll likely have PowerPoint slides involving Simpsons characters, so that’s something worth considering.

On Twitter @johnkwhite
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