[UPDATED! 5/11] I said I’d be back with some options for folks in the absence of The Fresno Bee, so here I am!
What I’ve included below is NOT a comprehensive list of outlets for coverage. These are just a handful of go-to’s that have worked well for us when pitching Rogue Festival or independent productions/events in the last two years. There are dozens more blogs/websites out there and lots of calendars to list your event. If you know of other sources open to taking press releases or pitches, please feel free to list them in the comments section. Every little bit counts.
First, if you’re at all uncertain what these folks need, please don’t hesitate to contact them via email to ask the best way to send them information or press releases. They’re usually happy to give you the information as it saves time and headaches down the road.
[Updated section on The Fresno Bee] – I still recommend you send your press release or basic event info to The Fresno Bee at email@example.com. They will have the calendar listings of events in the print edition, and they still have the widest circulation. They also have Rory Appleton on the arts/entertainment beat, along with crime and courts, etc. You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also email Josh Tehee at email@example.com. They still have the Seven section in print and if they think your event will get them enough clicks online, they may run with it. It’s just that not having a designated arts reporter weakens the odds.
Yes, it still exists elsewhere! Community newspapers usually have a planning/lead time of 4-6 weeks and operate on shoestring staff. I recommend sending your press release with photo or art (hi-res 300 dpi is required!) at around 6 weeks out and then doing a follow up 3 weeks or so before the week you hope it goes out.This will help them plan for space for your event, if they choose to feature it.
FRESNO AREA COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS
The Fresno Flyer – Terrific design, women-owned, growing circulation throughout Fresno County. Bi-Monthly.
Clovis RoundUp – Another well-designed, family-owned paper with a solid circulation in and around Clovis. Bi-Monthly.
Fresno Community Alliance Paper – a hyper-local news source geared toward progressive causes. Also has an Arts and Culture section. Monthly.
Distribution: 8,000 per month
They publish monthly, so it is usually best to get them your information for publication 8 weeks out whenever possible. Contact the editor for information at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tulare and Kings County:
Visalia Times-Delta Choices Section – The Arts and Entertainment section of the V T-D still covers local events and larger regional events from Fresno-Kings-Tulare counties. Send press releases to email@example.com. Other contacts: James Ward firstname.lastname@example.org (editor) and email@example.com (reporter).
Published bi-monthly. Like the Fresno Community Alliance, it is probably better to send this publication information earlier rather than later. Editor Joseph Oldenbourg. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The glossy magazine biz tends to be half website/half glossy print edition. There are several up and down the Valley, so do a google search for those you think are a good match. These need a LONG lead time, though, so it is best to send them your press release and information 8 weeks in advance with some really great-looking photos of past events or promo photos, if you have them. Again, photos and art need to be in hi-res 300 dpi for print. Please keep that in mind and plan ahead!
The Fresno Bee’s Special Publication Central Valley Magazine.
WEBSITES AND BLOGS
Since websites and blogs tend to have more fluid deadlines and a greater need for potential content, the lead time isn’t as long on these. HOWEVER, they still need to plan what they are going to write-up. Despite the unlimited space, they do not have unlimited humanpower and time. They also tend to prefer items that come with ready made photos and content to use.
For several years, KRL has covered a ton of arts and entertainment options within driving distance of Reedley, its home base. Lorie Lewis Ham is the editor and ready to take your stuff. email@example.com
A local lifestyle/real estate blog with a wide reach. The post they did on the Rogue Festival Program being available in PDF did extremely well for us in advance of the Festival. Heather McLane (formerly of the Fresno Beehive) is the editor. firstname.lastname@example.org
Donald Munro – The Munro Review
Munro, the designated arts reporter for the Fresno Bee for 17 years, now has his own blog and newsletter. Brand new platform, same great coverage. You can send him your show or event information at email@example.com
Central Valley Today with Alex Delgado. I tend to have good luck getting segments on this show, but they generally want to feature items with an upbeat feel or that have solid community service angles. Send them a press release minimum 4 weeks out with a follow up 2 weeks out to see if they have any openings. To pitch to them, give them a full press release and some art. If they book you, they’ll want (either) 10 or so photos and/or B-roll along with 5-10 talking points for them to prepare questions for the on-air interview. So have that ready if they offer you a slot. firstname.lastname@example.org
KMPH – Great Day . If you have a spunky, upbeat show with music or interesting visuals that can add flair to a morning show broadcast (and you’re willing to get up early in the morning!) send your press release to the newsdesk at KMPH. They’re always looking for interviews or on-site segments for Great Day. email@example.com
KFCF 88.1 – Free Speech Radio There are a number of programs at this radio station where your scrappy, independent or socially conscious work can be featured. Email Rychard Withers at firstname.lastname@example.org to pitch him your event. Also check out the shows they have lined up and see if there’s a good match.
KVPR – Valley Public Radio . Unlike print newspapers, public radio has expanded the variety and diversity of its local reporting in recent years. Shows like Valley Edition spotlight a lot of different cultural events regularly. AND DID YOU KNOW???? They now have a beautiful live performance space (complete with piano) in their Clovis studios! So there’s the potential to do some live on-air performance as part of a package. Send your press releases and pitches to Joe Moore (director of program content) at email@example.com or Ezra Romero (reporter and producer) at firstname.lastname@example.org
There are too many to list, but I tend to put my events to KVPR’s community calendar, the Fresno’s Bee’s PlanIt Fresno Calendar, and a few others. Do some google searching for calendars that might fit your target audience.
I’ve often “threatened” to offer a workshop on how Jaguar and I approach and plan out our PR tactics – everything from big picture plannings, “The Must List”, writing decent press releases and pitches, and getting it all done in a timely manner while working on shows.
So, how about late June or July? Would y’all be interested in a low-cost workshop? I’d also love it if we could use the opportunity to share what we’ve learned with each other over the years.
In the meantime, what outlets have worked for you? What do you have to share?