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Article Guidelines

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GUIDELINES FOR NEWS

How to submit news, features, photographs, and other items for possible publication in the national magazine.

THE NEWS WE USE

1. News releases detailing your recent club service projects in the areas of child abuse prevention, youth programs, Americanism, and community service.
2. Brief and timely news items on successful club membership drives, major club anniversaries, successful fundraisers, and humorous or unique occurrences. Due to the high volume of items we receive, it is not possible to give detailed coverage to all.
3. Feature stories on how your club or CAP center met a particular challenge or achieved unusual success. Examples include stories about community service, building membership, building clubs, solving a retention problem, unique or outstanding meeting programs, improving club committees, and unusual or highly profitable fundraisers.
Feature stories differ from news stories in that they provide greater detail, explain the “how to” aspects of a project, the problems encountered and how they were solved, and allow for elements of personal writing style.
4. Stories and photos of noteworthy members. This includes Exchangites who receive community recognition outside Exchange, have a unique occupation or avocation, or who have accomplished something extraordinary.
5. General interest articles written on a wide range of topics, such as business trends or ethics, child abuse prevention, citizenship, crime prevention, family, health, motivation, overcoming personal crises or hardship, personal improvement, public speaking,and volunteerism.
6. Photographs of your club’s projects and activities. High-resolution digital images or color photographs, properly exposed, are preferred. All images must be sharp and have good contrast. Send prints or digital files only. If you would like your photographs returned, please include a stamped, self-addressed envelope.

IS IT NEWS?

Just ask yourself, “Would Exchangites outside my club be interested in this?” If the answer is no, then it is not likely to be appropriate for the magazine.

The following lists a sampling of routine club activities that do not normally qualify as Exchange Today news because of their frequency and/or purely local interest.

1. Club elections, officer installations, and committee appointments.
2. Reports of regular meeting programs, unless they involve speakers of national prominence or an unusual occurrence.
3. Honors to outgoing or past officers, unless 20 or more years of service is involved, or the award comes from outside the club.
4. Club anniversary stories, unless they are major anniversaries (starting at 15 years).
5. Club social events.
6. Naming of honorary members, unless the person is of national prominence.
7. Reports and/or photos of award presentations given by the National Exchange Club. Such awards are usually announced all at once in a special listing.
8. Obituaries of Exchangites, except for current or former national officers and board members.
9. Youth of the Month Awards, however, Youth of the Year Awards from both the club and district are welcomed.
However, these are newsworthy events locally and should be submitted to local media and your district bulletin.

RELEASES

1. Write news releases that tell the whole story: who, what, when, where, why, how, and how much. Consider these before you send any release to Exchange Today or your local media. Lack of detail often kills or delays a story. The most important facts go first, with less important details in succeeding paragraphs.
2. Appoint a reliable member to serve as public relations chairman. His or her name, phone number, e-mail, and address, as well as the date, should appear on every release.
3. We accept newspaper clippings as a news source, but keep in mind that the photographs in them cannot be reproduced. In addition, clippings often do not tell the whole story. Add details such as the amount of funds netted, the “how to” of sponsoring a project, and so on.
4. Keep all news as current as possible. The new is always new and ranks with the unusual in reader appeal.
5. Make your story stand out. Originality and a novel twist to an otherwise routine story will capture the reader’s attention.
6. Send club newsletters on a regular basis. These help keep us informed of your club activities. However, keep in mind that club bulletins are not always a good source for magazine news items because they usually don’t contain as much detailed information as a news release.

PHOTOS

1. Take action shots – they give life to the printed page. Subjects should be photographed while shaking hands, pointing, discussing, smiling, hugging, or working on a project. Objects important to the subject should be visible.
2. Try to limit the number of people in a group photograph to no more than five. Faces in large crowds are difficult to identify. Keep in mind that in most cases, the photo will be printed in a size smaller than the original.
3. Get closer to your subject. Make sure the important people you’re shooting fill the viewfinder. Don’t stand at the back of a room or across the street to take the picture.
4. Be aware of your surroundings and your camera’s limitations. Insufficient lighting, out of focus images, or other problems will cause a photo to be rejected. Instant color photos (such as Polaroids) are often not usable because of poor reproduction quality.
5. Include captions with all photographs. Describe the situation and identify all persons, from the reader’s left to right, by full name and title.
6. Protect photographs for mailing–damaged photographs are not usable. Enclose the photographs in cardboard and mark the outside of the envelope with, “Photos–Do Not Bend.” Do not staple, paper clip, tape, glue or fold photographs.
7. Digital photos must have a resolution of at least 300 dpi. Images must be in high quality JPEG or TIFF format.
8. Excellent images will be considered for use on the Exchange Today cover. The image should be at least 8″ x 10″ in size. It must graphically represent a successful club project or activity, feature Exchangites, and preferably show action.

MAGAZINE ISSUES, DEADLINES

Exchange Today is published four times per year quarterly: March 15 for the Spring issue; June 15 for the Summer issue; September 15 for the Fall issue; and December 15 for the Winter issue. Copy deadlines are approximately two months prior to the date of issue.

MAGAZINE MISSION

To share important ideas and information with all of Exchange. Our goal is to publish news of successful club service and fundraising projects, member recruitment, retention and new club building efforts, leadership development strategies, and other activities that will benefit and be of interest to every Exchange Club. We strive to provide a national perspective of Exchange, its purposes and goals.

For much of the news we publish, we rely heavily on the material submitted by clubs and districts across the nation. However, due to the large volume of material we receive, we cannot publish every story in Exchange Today.

QUESTIONS?

Contact us today at:
Exchange Today
The National Exchange Club
3050 W. Central Avenue
Toledo, Ohio 43606-1700
Phone: 419-535-3232
Fax: 419-535-1989
E-mail: magazine@nationalexchangeclub.org