Anyone who thinks that the hometown newspaper no longer matters should sit in my office on a Monday morning when something didn't get into Saturday's edition.
I'm not complaining. I'd rather have a dozen calls and e-mails from readers wanting more than to go through the entire day wondering whether anyone cares.
As such, I wanted to share some suggestions on how you can get something in the paper.
One way is to call us in advance and tell us what's going on. You'd be surprised how many events there are that we don't know about. So tell us as soon as soon as possible. Please try to give us more than 15 minutes notice if you can, so we can plan both for our time and for space in the paper. Just this week, we had three phone calls for events either starting in 10 minutes or already underway and we just couldn't get there.
Any idea submitted will be considered. E-mail your stories, events and ideas to us at email@example.com or call our office at 320-589-2535. You're also welcome to stop by the office at 607 Pacific Avenue.
You can also take a more active approach. If your club or organization has given out awards to members, or received recognition for something you've done, bring us the photo and the information. Send photos and information to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you don't do e-mails, that's OK. Stop by the office. We have been able to get photos off almost all the cameras and cell phones that people have brought to us. Almost all.
Also, remember there's a lot happening around here, especially at this time of year. That may mean that we won't have enough room to print everything that we have. We look at that as a mixed blessing - it means we have a very active community but it also means that some folks will be disappointed when they open the paper on Saturday.
Of course, there is no fool-proof system. Sometimes e-mails get lost, messages don't get delivered and on rare occasions, we forget. So, don't feel bad if you have to send us a reminder.
We understand how important it is to have your article in your hometown newspaper. We do our best every week to include everything we can. We are proud of the newspaper we put out and want you to look forward to getting it each week.
The other option for you is to buy an ad for your item. That is the only way we can guarantee that your item will appear when you want.
One final suggestion. Community groups and organizations that are always busy might want to consider starting a blog on AreaVoices. It's fairly easy, free and will appear on the home page of our Web site. You can learn more at www.areavoices.com. If that sounds like something you'd like to do, give us a call or send an e-mail and we'll help you out.