How to tell us your news or submit event press releases
The Westmeath Independent is your newspaper. We’re always pleased to hear about news and events going on in your area. Follow these handy tips to submit your news and events.
Tell us the key details:
- Name of event
- Full address of event including the post code
- Day of the week and date of the event
- Start time
- Finish time:
- Best time for photographer to be around – From: To:
- Who is coming?
- What’s happening?
- Why is it happening?
- How is it happening? (if relevant)
- Who should we contact? Please give us their name, landline, mobile and email address.
Top Tip: Give us the details of a second contact to ensure we can contact someone easily about your event.
Find out the name of the relevant reporter:
How to find the right person
Reporters’ names and direct telephone numbers can be found in our newspapers or by viewing our contacts page
Send your press release by email, fax or post to the relevant reporter at least three weeks before the event. If you wish to make a follow-up phone call make sure it is not on deadline day! Try to include any details/ideas for an advance photo eg Pupils painting signs for their fete, people training for a sponsored event.
Make sure the contacts on your email can be contacted during office hours in the days following the arrival of the press release in the newsroom.
Top Tip: Why not include at the end of your press release four self contained paragraphs headed Web Release so reporters can copy it straight onto their website for extra publicity?
How to request coverage on the day
Hopefully your press release will have done the job.
- Call the reporter/newsdesk two/three days before the event to ask if they need any more info (and to double check without nagging whether your job has been fitted into the diary).
- Offer the mobile number of a contact at the event on the day so the photographer does not have to waste time tracking down someone in charge.
- Ask who to contact if your event is cancelled due to weather so as not to waste the photographer’s time by turning up at an event that is rained off.
Top Tip: Have some perfect picture ideas up your sleeve ready for when the photographer arrives, involving people/children who have already agreed to have their pictures taken.
How to tell us what happened
- If a photographer cannot attend, find someone with a decent digital camera and get one of the organisers to take some snaps.
NB You must make people aware their photos will be sent to the newspaper. You will need full names and a brief description of what they are doing for captions.
- Sometimes a reporter will attend your event, other times they will phone up afterwards for details. Be ready for a phone call the next day requesting names of winners (if relevant) amount of money raised etc.
Top Tip: Photos should be a minimum of 270dpi at postcard size – for hints on what makes a good event picture, check out the pages of the newspaper for photos of similar events.
- Weekend photo diaries always have more job requests than it is possible to carry out
- All children (U16) have to have parental permission to have their pictures taken.
- Newspapers always require full names of anyone in a picture.
- Editors are reluctant to run the same prepiece every week. – if you want coverage over several weeks have a new angle ready for each advance story.