Press Release Guidelines

A Checklist for Submitting PR to Independent.com

Here's a checklist for how to best submit your press release for publication on Independent.com.

The Santa Barbara Independent welcomes press releases from individuals and organizations. Sometimes they’ll lead to a story, but we'll almost always post them to Announcements page if they fit our parameters.

In order of importance, here are some pointers for getting your press release posted and looking good:

  • Don’t send us a press release that’s really an ad.
  • Make sure we can select the text of the release! You can embed the release in the body of the email, attach a Word document, or attach a PDF. But be careful with the last option, we’ve received PDF docs where we can’t copy/paste the text.
  • Timing is everything! Don’t send us something the day before an event — it won't be posted that day. Likewise, don’t send us a press release six weeks early, as we post very soon after submission. And don't send us multiples, as we'll only post the first one you send. If you must send it early, tell us what date you would like it to appear online and we’ll try to accommodate. [These guidelines, keep in mind, are strictly for press release submission.]
  • Be clear what organization you are representing (you’d be surprised, but occasionally this isn’t obvious from either the press release or accompanying email).
  • The release always comes across better to the public if it’s written more like an ‘article’ — try to minimize bullet points and incomplete sentences.
  • Your first sentence becomes the "Tease" — a stand-alone sentence that's the first thing readers see after the headline (so make it count).
  • Be specific about dates (don't say something happened "yesterday" or will happen "tomorrow").
  • Be clear if contact information you include is just for the press or if you would like it included with the story online. If you include URLs we’ll generally make them active links.
  • Please don’t use ALL CAPS for your headings and subheadings — we don’t post them that way, and we’d rather not retype them (use First Caps instead).
  • Photographs
  • We’re happy to include one or two. If you send more than that, we will likely select only one or two to post.
  • We generally won’t follow a link to download photos. If you would like photos included with the release, attach them with your email.
  • 72 dpi resolution is preferred, since this will go online. If we need high resolution photos for some other reason, we will ask.
  • Photos will be resized if they’re too large; ones that are too small often aren’t posted (try not to have it less than 450px in the longest dimension).
  • Whenever possible:
  • Include a photo credit. If we don’t see one, the default is to use the name of your organization.
  • Include a caption, otherwise we’ll make up our own, but we don’t always know the names of people shown in a photo.