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Column: Hear ye! Hear ye!
Martin Cahn (2019).jpg
Martin L. Cahn

Community newspapers are the town criers of the modern age and have been for some time. Let’s put it this way -- you’re unlikely to find a note about the latest bit of church news or charitable poker run here in Kershaw County in TIME magazine or The Washington Post.

So, how do announcements appear in the paper?

There’s always the tried and true way of dropping them off at our office, 909 West DeKalb St., in Camden. In today’s modern world, you can email them. When it comes to church or “What’s Up” events, they can be sent directly to me at mcahn@chronicle-independent.com.

One thing I can’t do is take them by telephone. Why? Primarily because things can get lost in translation while trying to write down what you’re saying. Part of that is just simple distraction -- it’s easier for me to concentrate on what you’ve written down than it is to try to interpret what you want on the fly.

Still, what’s the best way to make sure your church, community, wedding, engagement and birth announcements get in the paper?

Visit our website. No, really.

On any page on our website, click on the “About Us/Contact Us” link at the top of the page. That will take you to a page full of contact information for all of us working here at the C-I.

At the very, very bottom, you’ll find links to five online forms: Birth Announcement, Church News, Engagement Announcement, Wedding Announcement, and What’s Up (Calendar of Events).

New parents can use the Birth Announcement form and submit it to us electronically. In fact, we’d love it if every new parent with connections to the community -- whether here in the county or outside the area -- would use the form.

Right now, birth announcements are usually submitted by faxing a hand-written form. They can be very tough to read, so using an electronic one will make sure we have spellings and other information correct.

I’m going to take on Church News and What’s Up together. Even though I handle both types of submissions, they are separate forms because we list them separately. We’ve tried to make this clear for a number of years now: Church News items do not appear in What’s Up. We made this change years ago because there were so many church announcements, it was getting close to impossible for other types of community events to get into What’s Up.

We urge all churches to use the online form to submit this information.

Community organizations can use the What’s Up form to submit their events.

What about engagement and wedding announcements?

These are, perhaps, the most complex submissions we receive. There’s just so much information to include about a couple’s Very Important Day, whether it’s still to come or has taken place.

There’s information for the bride; the groom; their respective parents and grandparents; what they do for a living; where the wedding will or took place; who the matron of honor, best man, bridesmaids, groomsmen, ushers... the list goes on!

There are, of course, some differences between the two forms since one is about getting engaged and the other is about getting married.

In both cases, using the Engagement Announcement form or the Wedding Announcement form is the best way to make sure we’re getting everything we need to run the announcement.

One note, though: Engagement and wedding photos have to be emailed separately. Information generated by the online forms goes directly to C-I Production Director Barbara Stevens. Accompanying photos should be sent to her at bstevens@chronicle-independent.com.

The forms on our website are not hard to use and they’ll ensure what you have to share gets in the C-I the way you want. Cheers!