I spend at least the first hour of each workday going through email. Some of that time is spent answering questions from readers, communicating with our writers/contributors, looking at newsletters, handling bills and so on—the kinds of things you’d expect a newspaper editor/publisher to handle.
The bulk of that time, however, is spent dealing with press releases and requests for coverage. A lot of these requests are basically junk—announcements of new albums by musicians with no local ties or shows, info about out-of-state art exhibits, worthless statements from politicians, etc. Some of them are legitimate and merit a response, or perhaps a forward to one of our writers.
Nearly all of these press releases and requests for coverage have one thing in common: They’re coming from, or being sent on behalf of, entities that have never done a dime in business with the Independent.
Let me make one thing clear: We don’t factor in business when it comes to determining what we cover. Compare our advertisers and our stories in print or here at CVIndependent.com for proof.
But the amount of advertising and reader support we receive determines how much coverage we can do. We don’t run press releases as stories; we do journalism. With very rare exceptions, all of our stories, done by writers who are paid, include at least one interview. They all are researched, edited and fact-checked. Doing journalism properly, and distributing that journalism, costs money—a lot of money. Our monthly bill to print 15,500 or 16,000 copies of a 32- or 40-page, stitch-and-trimmed publication on hi-brite paper is quite impressive, as are our monthly digital-services bills.
Meanwhile, there are public-relations and advertising firms in town—which regularly send us press releases and requests for coverage on behalf of their clients—that have never once placed an ad with the Independent, in 10 1/2 years of business. The same can be said about countless organizations and businesses, many of which have received coverage in our pages.
I’ve said this before, and I am going to say it again: If you don’t support local media sources you value, they will die. I’ll now say it again, with a slight tweak, extra loudly, to those aforementioned PR/advertising firms, organizations and businesses: If you don’t support the local media sources that cover you and/or your clients, they will die.
I have one more thing to say to those PR/advertising firms, organizations and businesses: Advertising with the Independent, if it’s done right, will help your business and/or your clients—far more than it’ll cost. A lot of eyeballs read the Independent in print and in pixels, after all.
I completely understand that some organizations and businesses don’t have the resources to advertise, and others don’t have a need. But there are a lot of organizations and businesses who both have the resources and a need, yet they’re choosing not to advertise with the local media sources from which they’re requesting coverage and publicity, instead depending on “earned media”—which is fancy industry speak for editorial coverage.
If you don’t support local media sources you value, they will die. If you don’t support the local media sources that cover you and/or your clients, they will die.
Thank you Jimmy and everyone at the CV Independent! You are important AND you are appreciated! Local and locally-based media is more and more important, especially in our ever changing journalist landscape.
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