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Monday, April 16, 2012

Make your press release count

News people receive hundreds of emails daily, so here are some tips to help your submission get covered.

First, give a hint as to what your email is about in the subject line. If it's about an event, you could write, "Hot dog race Sept. 4 in Pontiac" in the subject line. It doesn't need all the details in the subject, just an idea of what it is about. "Exciting news" or "press release" aren't very informative.

If you send photos, please send in jpg, jpeg or tiff format. The size needs to be at least 100 KB, larger is better. We love pics with PEOPLE in them. In the email message, include their names listed in order from left to right and titles or companies, or schools if applicable. Also note where they are and what is happening, if it's an event.

If you send mass emails, blanketing the media universe using blind copy, don't be surprised if you receive two or more replies from the same place. This is a big time-waster and annoyance for journalists when they don't know someone else received the same email and is working on it. If you don't know who should get your press release, send a personalized email asking one person or call that person and ask them. We realize that you want to make sure your news gets in, but try to be considerate.

If you've waited until two days before the event and you are in a panic, don't expect it to become every journalist's emergency too. Most of us work really hard to cover everything that we know about, but there is a limit to how much time we have and how much space is available for stories.

To send press releases to The Oakland Press, email local news to julie.jacobson@oakpress.com, for business-related news, send to kathy.blake@oakpress.com. We prefer to have releases either pasted inside the email message or attached as a Word document. We don't like pdf files as much because they are sometimes difficult to extract the information from.

For calendar items and events, be sure to enter it at theoaklandpress.com/calendar so those who visit the website will see them there. We print events from the calendar as space permits.

If you have any questions, feel free to call The Oakland Press newsroom at 248-745-4619.

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