Community newspapers rely a lot on school for content. However, other factors slow the flow of news because businesses have fewer promotions during the summer, many businesses pull back their advertising dollars and there are usually fewer new business start-ups. Down here in Texas where it is so hot during the summers everything slows down a bit with fewer outdoor activities, fundraisers and festivals. Heck, even the longhorn bull across the street from me doesn't move from under a tree during the summer.
Here is way to increase your content with interesting, relative stories: Invent anniversaries.
- Make a list of major events that changed your community in past years, such as a new business area, school campus, annual community event that started or major construction that effected an area. Perhaps it could be a newly formed city position, new organization or a major club event. It is not fun, but it can be a harder news story such as a tragedy that effected the community.
- Look back in your archives at the past stories, glean much of the body of information from them for a new story and devise a before/after angle to report on. How is the community different since the highway was expanded? How large has the event grown? How has a new administrator improved operations? What has a new charity organization done to improve life in the community?
Severe storm damage is an excellent story to revisit.To ad greater significance to the story you very likely can find some type of anniversary to that event or happening. For instance, if the story is a major super store that moved into the area you will find in your newspaper archives there were preliminary meetings, a ground breaking, various construction phases, a ribbon cutting and grand opening, so pick a phase close to the current season and tie that into the story. Soon you writing headlines like “Grandmart looks back on four years in the community” or “Pastor Sponzie recalls first day.”
- To save time, use much of the content and photos from your archive and follow up with a quick interview and maybe a new photo.
Instant content to ease your hot summer will cool you off better than a snow cone in the shade!