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How do you handle camp briefs?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Precious Roy, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. Precious Roy

    Precious Roy Active Member

    Quick question for the editors out here, but what do you guys do with sports camp briefs?
    Right now, we put them all in briefs text and that just eats space. We do so as a free service.
    We are wanting to switch this to a pay service for a small display ad and if not we will put the brief in agate form.
    What do you all think of that, and how do you handle briefs, especially when this time of year you can end up with 50 inches of different briefs?
  2. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Bare-bones info (dates, location, times, cost, names of RECOGNIZABLE instructors, contact info). All the tub-thumping editorial-comment bullshit puffery, quotes from the camp director, etc etc., gets cut out. We don't run it in 6-point agate, but it is in compacted-down brief-agate format.

    We run it once free in our weekly bulletin-board section. We MAY (or may not, at our discretion) run it again as a filler if we need it (although that is becoming more and more rare) as long as the info remains good.

    If they need more than that, we refer them to the advertising department.

    Believe it or not, not infrequently they (the camp directors) come back to us and say, "oh the ad rep said to come back to you and tell you you should run it for free XX more times."

    One time I replied, "oh, I don't think (Ad Rep Joe Schmoe) works here any more." This brought back, "Oh I just left him three minutes ago."

    "Well, if that's really what he told you, he doesn't work here any more."

    For once, Mr. Publisher had my back.
  3. JBHawkEye

    JBHawkEye Active Member

    We run them once a week, on Sundays, in agate type on the Scoreboard page.

    Like Starman does, it's just the basic information. If they want more, they can buy an ad.
  4. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    Can you put all the camp ads together in one file and print it once? And have one link online?

    My local paper runs all the summer camp stuff one day, all the vacation bible school info another day, etc. I don't work there but I suppose if someone called in wanting the info, a staffer could tell them to buy the back issue.
  5. murphyc

    murphyc Well-Known Member

    What Starman said.
  6. BillyT

    BillyT Active Member

    Yep, run them once as a service to the reader.

    The rest is advertising.

    Our ad reps would never tell someone to ask for them for free. They would argue with us even running them once. They are all about the money.

    They think we shouldn't cover the local speedway, because they do not advertise.
  7. flexmaster33

    flexmaster33 Active Member

    We throw summer camps into an agate list, although I do like the idea of letting the ad department sell some sort of Summer Camp ad page...I may run that by this year. Although most of ours are school coaches camps and such, so tossing their camp info in gratis helps oil the wheels when fall rolls around :)
  8. ZummoSports

    ZummoSports Member

    We have a briefs column on one of our sports pages every day. If it doesn't get filled up with actual sports news - local or national - we'll run one there, but only once. If we don't get into that space, we have a weekly community page where that stuff usually lands.
  9. Tommy Deas

    Tommy Deas Member

    We run them in our sports community calendar -- can run from zero to seven times in a given week depending on space and time of year (how many youth league sign-up items we have in the calendar and such). They have to include the basics like cost, registration deadline, etc., and have a name and contact point (email or phone) attached so we don't get the calls. They also have to be local, and I'm still surprised at how many camps and tournaments from out of town and out of state send us calendar items on a regular basis.
  10. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    Same rules I have for youth league signups and slow pitch tournaments: Run in the announcements once a week, and I restrict them to a 30-mile or so radius from town.
  11. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    At one place I worked, we did a fabulous job with this.

    We put out an announcement about a month in advance that we would run camp info free of charge. We set aside a designated day and published all the camps, sport by sport, with date, time, cost, age group, location, etc. for each. We came up with our own standard form (larger than agate type, smaller than body type), so I edited all the stuff to make it as uniform as possible. We set a deadline for submissions and had around 60 camps, everything from football and basketball to dance and gymnastics. But, if you missed the deadline for submissions, tough shit, buy an ad.

    (We did, on our own, decide to re-run the list a second time about a month after initial publication.) Public loved it and they've done it every year ever since.
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