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Editor column: The dos and don’ts of submitting content

Kevin MacMillan

kmacmillan@nevadanewsgroup.com

Kevin MacMillan is editor of the Northern Nevada Business Weekly.
File photo

RENO, Nev. — Now that we are fully immersed into a weekly print schedule with the return of the Northern Nevada Business Weekly, I wanted to take some time this week to answer FAQs and remind everyone about our guidelines when it comes to submitting content for publication.

CliffsNotes versions of this information is published on our website and throughout each print edition, but considering how much we value the work our readers, business owners and community members do to keep us informed, it never hurts to lay out the specifics.

Not to mention, since we announced late last year our impending move to a weekly publication cycle, questions surrounding the five Ws of our content have increased tenfold, so let’s get on with the nuts and bolts!

Question: I have something to submit for print, what’s the deadline to get into the next edition?

Answer: The NNBW publishes in print on Wednesdays. Items must be submitted for consideration no later than close of business the previous Monday. For example, deadline for the Wednesday, Feb. 26, edition is Monday, Feb. 17. Some exceptions can be made, subject to NNBW editor approval.

Question: Why is the deadline so early?

Answer: The simple reason is due to early press deadlines — basically, we begin finalizing the paper a full week prior to publication date in order to make our printing deadlines.

Question: How do I submit, and what are parameters?

Answer: Email is the best way to submit content, and you can do so by sending items to editor@nnbw.biz; word limit is 150-300 for people or news briefs, and 300-700 for an article or press release. Include author’s name for a byline, as well as their association or credentials for a tagline, if applicable. Articles should be submitted via email as attached .doc documents (i.e., using Microsoft Word). Or, feel free to simply copy and paste within the body of the email itself. Please avoid submitting .pdf documents or alternative files.

Question: Why should I avoid PDFs?

Answer: It might sound simple, but we need to copy and paste information into our content management system, at which point the formatting and editing process begins. While technology has improved drastically over the years, .pdf files still present challenges when copy and pasting, by way of broken paragraphs and incomplete translations of numbers and special characters (percent signs, ampersands, etc.). Oh, and while I’m at it — we do not accept files, faxes or in-person printed pieces that require type-setting. This isn’t the ‘90s anymore — it is not efficient to spend limited time typing a letter to the editor or press release into our system.

Question: So, what about photos?

Answer: We absolutely encourage photo submissions! They should be sent as high-resolution .jpg attachments in an email (if they’re part of an article or press release, attach them in the same email). At the risk of boring you with the minutia related to photo editing and sizes, image sizes for newsprint are best at 10 inches wide by 200 dpi, and 7×200 for vertical. Not sure how to edit file sizes? No worries! Just take a look a the size of each photo — if it’s 1MB or larger, it should be all good. If it’s below, and especially below 500KB, we might have a problem. Also — and this should go without saying — images must not be overly edited or manipulated. Over the years I’ve seen some pretty spectacular fails when it comes to Photoshop, whether it’s manufactured sunset hues, scrubbing images so the viewer doesn’t see a “controversial” item, or even deleting actual people from a photo. 

Question: What if I have a lot of photos to submit?

Answer: Due to large file sizes, images should be limited to three max per email. Google Drive download links (or similar digital options like DropBox, HighTail, WeTransfer, etc.) for larger file sizes or a large quantity of images are encouraged if providing several high-resolution photos. Oh and one last thing about images — please do your best to provide captions and credits for them. The latter is especially important so we may properly credit the photographer or business who provided the image. As for captions, if there are people in the images, please identify first and last names.

Question: I submitted something by the deadlines mentioned above — why hasn’t anything run yet?

Answer: There might be a few reasons for this — often, it’s because we either haven’t gotten a chance yet to edit your submission, or we didn’t have enough space in print to fit it, so we’re bumping it a week or two down the road. Also, we publish content on a daily basis to the NNBW website at http://www.nnbw.com, and some content may run online only, due to editorial discretion. It’s also important to note that our content deadlines are for consideration only, and do not guarantee a story or brief will be published online and/or in print, due to space availability or other content priorities. The only way to guarantee something is published is to purchase advertising.

To learn more about print and digital rates, in addition to other sponsorship and native advertising opportunities, email NNBW Business Development Manager Melissa Saavedra at msaavedra@nevadanewsgroup.com for information.

Should you have questions about these processes, please email me, and I’ll be happy to walk you through things!

Kevin MacMillan is editor of the Northern Nevada Business Weekly. Reach him for comment at kmacmillan@nevadanewsgroup.com.