Friday, January 14, 2011

Fort Worth Media Panel - Learn from the Locals

The first program of the year did not disappoint.

Those hoping to get insight from the Fort Worth 2011 Media Panel heard from editors about imminent publication changes, social media trends, and tips plus preferences for the local PR professional-journalist working relationship.

Below are highlights from each speaker:

Maricar Estrella, Fort Worth Star-Telegram Social Media Editor:
  • The Star-Telegram is placing more emphasis on the key role social media plays in news production with the creation of her position last year.
  • Mari shared examples of how Facebook or Twitter postings have led to breaking news, albeit, after a thorough journalistic follow-up.
  • Mari also shared that she is a blogger on the site.
  • When sending photos or other attachments, be aware that there’s a 10mb size limit.
  • The following addresses help those wishing to connect with the paper through social media: Facebook:; Twitter: @startelegram; @dfwsuperbowl @maricare (use hashtag #sbst to tweet your Super Bowl experience; best tweet will be featured); Gowalla Super Bowl Trip:; FourSquare: @maricar estrella
  • Email Mari at:

Robert Francis, Fort Worth Business Press Editor
  • Robert let everyone know to watch for changes soon on the Business Press website.
  • There’s a new owner and perhaps you’ve heard of him before: Rich Connor.
  • Be sure to sign up for Business Press e-mail alerts, which offer local, breaking business news.
  • Keep in mind their weekly deadlines. No need to send notices for events happening after publication.
  • Email Robert at:

Lois Norder, Fort Worth Star-Telegram Managing Editor
  • While newspaper print circulation numbers have gone down, the paper is more widely read – even globally – than ever before.
  • Consider always copying the newsroom ( when sending a release or story idea. Chances are that the reporter who used to cover your beat topic has changed positions.
  • Stay away from attachments for news delivery when possible – editors like the convenience of cutting and pasting pertinent facts from an email text vs. a PDF.
  • Email Lois at:
  • BONUS: For those who didn’t get the handout from Lois Norder, she was kind enough to share that information for us to post here. Thanks Lois!

How to get your press release noticed by the Star-Telegram:
  1. Put the local angle in the subject line. We look for those that highlight local people or places or issues.
  2. Contact the right people. That’s plural, because we have a family of publications, including community newspapers, magazines such as Panache and Indulge and our websites. Call to ask who covers a topic if you haven’t touched base in a while. Be sure to also copy your release to Except for breaking news, we prefer information via email.
  3. Include a contact name, phone number, and address. We require that for photos and story assignments. 
  4. Make sure we can cut and paste key details. Don’t use read-only pdfs or other web-based forms that will only pick up an entire block of information. 
  5. Time your release. Friday is too late to send information on long-planned weekend events. A month in advance is too soon, except for the biggest events when we want to save a date. For breaking news, send the release immediately and follow up.

Key contacts: — For all press releases — Lois Norder, managing editor for news — Celeste Williams, managing editor for sports and features — Catherine Mallette, features editor — Jim Fuquay, business editor — Gene Trainor, editor for Grapevine, Colleyville and Southlake weekly — Alice Murray, editor of the Keller Citizen — Nancy Matocha, editor for Roanoke, Westlake, Trophy Club and Haslet weekly — Amanda Rogers, editor of the Mansfield News-Mirror — Max Baker, editor of the Arlington Citizen-Journal — Lance Winter, editor of the Weatherford Telegram