Help us spread your good news

February 17, 2001

Help us spread your good news

"Where do you get this information?"

A bridegroom's father was questioning why we didn't use his formal name in his son's wedding announcement.

I looked at the information supplied to us by the newly married couple. We had published what was submitted.

"That is how your son and his wife wrote the announcement," I responded.

The caller wasn't aware that people submit items to the newspaper for publication.

I explained to him that we require most announcements, particularly weddings, births and the like, to be submitted in writing.

"Really? I always wondered how you got all that information."

Sometimes editors forget that readers often are unaware of the policies we've created. Some people don't notice the guidelines we publish regularly.


So it's important to explain why we do what we do.

We ask for many items in writing because it reduces the possibility for error. If you submit a written announcement, we can double-check the spelling of your grandmother's name, your baby's date of birth, etc.

That's not to say we don't make mistakes. We do. But we try hard to prevent that from happening.

Wedding, engagement, anniversary and birth announcements are published on Saturdays. Some people question why The Herald-Mail runs wedding and anniversary announcements several months after the events.

Sometimes we don't receive them until several months have passed, but we publish these within two to four weeks of receiving them.

While we prefer receiving announcements in a timely fashion, we understand how people get busy, especially when they are establishing a home together.

We'll run an announcement as long as it is submitted within a year of the wedding.

We want to serve you, our readers, and we think your keepsake is more important than an unrealistic deadline.

We will run both wedding and engagement photos. We used to run only one or the other, but that's a policy we haven't had for at least a decade. These announcements need to be signed.

Some people mistakenly believe that hospitals automatically submit birth announcements to the newspaper. Some will send the information to newspapers you designate. Others rely on parents to submit the information. Ask your hospital what its policy is.

Include a signature of one parent if the parents have the same last name, or both parents if the last names are different. Grandparents may submit an announcement if they get the parents to sign it.

Many local clubs and organizations submit items about upcoming meetings, fund-raisers or support group gatherings. We publish these throughout the week in Lifestyle.

Those of you familiar with this format will notice a change beginning Tuesday, Feb. 27, when we will launch a Community page featuring notices of turkey suppers, club meetings, etc.

Items for this page, which will be published every Tuesday in both The Morning Herald and The Daily Mail, can be e-mailed to or sent to Community page, The Herald-Mail, P.O. Box 439, Hagerstown, Md. 21741.

We want to make it easier for you to find the information you're looking for. That's why we'll be publishing community announcements on one page, the same day every week.

If you have any questions about this, call me at 301-733-5131, ext. 2341.

Lisa Tedrick Prejean is Lifestyle editor for The Herald-Mail.

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