Friday, October 27, 2006

Greeting Deadlines

Month end is an understandably frantic time for many; for me it coincides with the copy deadline for the November edition of the Newbury Business News, published by the Newbury Weekly News, one of Morgan PR's major clients.

It always respresents a challenge coaxing those who are being written about to meet this deadline, coming as it does almost two weeks ahead of the actual publication. I suspect some do not see the deadline as 'real' - but it absolutely is and has to be met lest there is a knock on to the production process that lead to final publication, this time on November 9th.

The publication is a balanced blend of paid for advertising features and genuine news articles. For those seeking to be published they need to consider what message they wish to convey and what they want to achieve.

The strongest route is, of course, news. Readers will consider news articles more objective than advertising - although the fact that most adverts are written in the same style helps mitigate this. If what you want to say or do has a strong news value then it stands a good chance of being published - providing you tell me or the paper! However there are no guarantees and of course, being news, if a stronger story comes along, your tale could be squeezed out. There is also the consideration that you have little control over how the story will appear, where it features within the publication and whether there is a photograph. It is a news story and the publication has editorial independence. This independence is why so many people value it!

This relative uncertainty is why many opt for the advertising features. Naturally you pay - it is advertising - but such a feature is normally written by a journalist - often me - and signed off by the client with all the associated certainty over what will be published.

Sometimes the choice between trying for a news story, either by calling me or the publication, or opting for an advertisement, is straight forward. Other times it can be a challenge to decide how to handle something. It is almost always going to be more cost effective to issue a press release than pay for an advert - but you come back to the dilemma of there being no guarantees!

I am posting a great deal for someone who began by pointing out how busy he was!

More later, and let me know what you think?

1 comment:

Sarah Rhoads - The Virtual Office Secretary said...

Wise words. I have appeared in the Newbury Weekly News now on many occassion, through a healthy mix of Editorial and Advertising but the most powerful has always been a genuine news story.

It's often difficult to "bang your own drum" and it certainly takes practice, practice, practice. If you've got something to say, say it, no-one will ever know you exist otherwise.