Please sir, I want some more news releases

Phil Castle

It’s time to revisit a favorite subject of mine: news releases.

More specifically, it’s time to beg again for local news releases and the opportunity they afford to share more information with readers. I swear, there are occasions when I feel like less like a newspaper editor and more like the orphan Oliver Twist in the eponymous book by Charles Dickens. Please sir, I want some more.

Not the hundreds of news releases that fill my email inbox every day from sources across the nation and frequently around the world. Rather, I’m talking about news releases from businesses right here in the Grand Valley and Western Colorado.

Frequent readers will no doubt recall my past pleas. It’s a sore subject. What brings this topic back to the forefront was a news release I received about a California company that distributes news releases. Somewhat ironic, isn’t it?

The company provides an online platform for entrepreneurs and businesses to write and send releases for what are termed affordable rates. The company also provides information to businesses about who opens their news releases.

Let me make something clear: I have nothing against companies that make it their business to distribute news releases. I consider myself blessed, in fact, to work with marketing firms that send me news releases. It’s a privilege to work with professionals who realize the value of sharing news about their clients with the local business journal. If anything, I encourage them to send me more news releases.

Now, let me get to the point: The Business Times welcomes news releases about local businesses and business people. That includes news releases about changes in products or services, expansions, new hires and promotions. There’s never a charge to include this information in the print or online editions. Never.

Many of the local news releases I receive appear in sections titled — appropriately enough — Business Briefs and Business People. But some of those news releases also lead to longer news stories and some of those become features promoted with cover photographs.

There’s a reason I want more news releases, and it’s a simple one: I want to share more news. The more the merrier. I’d be delighted if I had to expand the Business Briefs and Business People sections to accommodate more news.
I’d welcome the problem of finding sufficient space in the paper to shoehorn in one more good story.

In a perfect universe, I’d enjoy unlimited resources to report news, to talk with more business owners about their operations. Unfortunately, that’s an economic impossibility for even the largest publications. Alternatively, I have to rely on businesses to contact me to share their news — and that most often takes the form of the news release. 

It’s simple. Cover the basics — the who, what, when, where and why — and send me an email. Submit a news release through the Business Times website. 

Please sir, I want some more.

Phil Castle is editor of the Business Times. Reach him at phil@thebusinesstimes.com or 424-5133.