Thursday, 23 July 2015

Anipal Times

One of the things I'm thankful for is my job as the Social Events Correspondent for the Anipal Times. It's terrific fun, especially as I get to go to lots of cool events and make a lot of great new friends!

If you're not a regular AT reader I can tell you that the paper's a good read, with useful information, product recall notices, Anipal Shops, cartoons and a lot of other features as well as a weekly account of the (usually riotous!) social events of the week

Recently some anipals have asked me why their social event didn't get a write-up in the AT. That's a real shame, as all of us at AT love to give events the best publicity we can, but we really need the organizers to work with us to help us to do that so I thought it might be useful to explain what an event organizer needs to do if they want their event to make the news.

  • First, and most importantly - tell me that it's happening! I can't report on an event that isn't scheduled, and it doesn't make the schedule unless I know about it. Just like an off-line newspaper, AT doesn't go out looking for a wedding or a pawty to report on. We're all volunteers on the paper, and we simply don't have time for that. So, the first step in getting your event a mention is to... 

  • Put it on the Calendar. The Events Calendar is run by AT and curated by the Social Events Correspondent, so you need to check out the Calendar and choose a date and time for your event. Please note, you normally can't schedule an event on the Calendar if the time-slot is already booked. On very rare occasions that might work for two events that are completely different in nature and clearly wouldn't attract the same audience, but in general the rule is that if someone else has booked the date it's theirs. There's nothing to stop you going ahead with your event anyway, of course, but it won't be on the Calendar, appear in AT Upcoming Events or be written about in AT afterwards. I'm sorry if that sounds harsh, but experience has shown that competing events lead to bad feeling between the organizers, especially if the one already booked is a charity fundraiser, and AT isn't going to be caught in the middle of the fall-out. It's strictly "first come, first served", so if a particular date is important to you it's a good idea to book it early, before someone else does! Please also make sure you let me know at least the approximate time you plan for your event to happen. I've sometimes had an organizer ask me to reserve a full Saturday because they haven't yet decided on the best time to start a pawty that's intended to last 3 hours. That is just not fair to others who might be planning an event for earlier in the day or later in the evening, and it isn't going to happen. 

  • When you've decided on your date and time, your next step is to email me at shaynacatATanipaltimesDOTcom, or DM me on Twitter at @ShaynaCat. Simply tweeting me is not reliable. I love getting as many tweets as I do, but I have so much incoming that I can't guarantee to see them all. Also, it's important that you let me know at least two weeks ahead of the event, if possible. I try to fit in late notifications if I can, but it doesn't always work. Like any other newspaper AT has set times for editing and publication and can only include the information that's available at the time. There have been occasions when someone has been disappointed that an event has not been previewed or reported on after they'd notified me within a week of when it was intended to take place and my article had already been submitted. That disappoints me too, because I know how much work goes into these occasions, but the Pawties and Events column does end every week with a reminder of how and when to get the details to me, and there really is a reason why that's necessary. 
  • Please include some details of your event. The things I need to know are the event's name and hashtag, date and time you want to reserve on the Calendar, the Twitter name(s) of the organizer(s), what the event is about (e.g. an engagement, a wedding, a pawty, a fundraiser, etc), and a link to a blog post, Tweetvite or whatever else you're using to publicize the event. I'll also need a picture, but assuming that there is one at the link you give me I can normally use that. Please note there does have to be a site or page of some kind for AT to link back to, though!  
  • If there's any change in the arrangements, please let me know as soon as possible so I can at least amend the Calendar. It doesn't often happen, but it's a bit embarrassing if something is called off and people are asking me what happened to it! :D 

Once you've done all that, here's what you can expect:- 

  • A mention in the Events Calendar, showing date, time, hashtag, link and organizer(s) of the event. The Calendar has the facility for anyone with a Google account to click on the event and have it added to their own Calendar automatically, so it really is quite useful; 
  • A mention in the Upcoming Events section of the weekly AT Pawties and Events page, also showing the above information and including a picture and a link direct to the event's page;  
  • Promotional tweets about the Pawties and Events page, which will help to publicize your upcoming event; and  
  • A write-up of your event in the Pawties and Events page. That's usually in the edition that comes out on the Tuesday following your event, but sometimes if it's been a very busy week some events may be held over till the following week. Usually the earliest events get written about first, but just occasionally if one has a lot of detail that deserves a bit more time than is available that week it will be held over so that I can do it justice next time. In no circumstances is there ever any favouritism involved - writing and editorial decisions are always made in what's believed to be the best interests of all concerned. 

Everyone at AT wants to help you make the most of your event, because not only do we want you to have a great and memorable time but we also want to inform and entertain our readers. That means you can be sure we'll do our utmost to give your event the showcase it deserves, so we really hope you'll understand how important it is that you take the steps I've outlined so that you can help us to help you to do that. 
Happy organizing!


  1. You sure work hard and do a terrific job at keeping everything organized!

  2. PepiSmartDog: I didn't know you were the Events Corespondent for the Anipal Times.
    Thats good to know cause sometimes we have some big events and I might pass the dates to you, in the future.
    Apologies for being late visiting you. *blushes*
    Thank you for joining out Thankful Thursday Blog Hop.
    We really love it that you take the time to be in our blog hop.
    Hope to see you again real soon.
    *waves paw* :=)


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