Hi there! My name’s Aaron Orlando and I am the creative director at Revelstoke Mountaineer Magazine and revelstokemountaineer.com. I’m a journalist who’s worked in Revelstoke for the past dozen years, including as editor of the local paper before founding Revelstoke Mountaineer.
In 2020, we’re introducing a lot of changes, especially to our web offerings at revelstokemountaineer.com.
One of the key themes of change will be more collaboration and partnerships with community members, groups, and organizations.
One thing I’ve noticed over the years is potential contributors often don’t know how to approach a magazine or website to get their content/story/photo/suggestion/story pitch/idea featured.
For example, people often feel a formal press release is required, but it’s not.
In reality, it’s pretty easy to get involved, and it starts with reaching out to us early on.
Here’s why we want to work with you
Ideas are powerful things and so are the words used to express them.
We live in a diverse community with a lot of different ideas, and we want to share yours! Most importantly, we want to be the platform for elevated thoughts, ideas, visions, and opinions.
This desire comes from my belief that words and ideas are essential to shaping our community for the better.
What problems need are solutions, and in the small-town context of Revelstoke, that often means creating or advocating for the solutions that are right for us.
But which solutions? By creating a platform where elevated ideas are expressed, we hope to build a better marketplace of ideas for the community so that we can benefit from our collective strengths.
An example of a good collaboration
Over the past year, Revelstoke Mountaineer has been collaborating with the Revelstoke Women’s Shelter Society (RWSS) to create columns and stories relevant to their mission.
In fact, RWSS has created and written these columns, but first we worked together to come to a good understanding of what both parties wanted from the partnership.
The RWSS is uniquely positioned to share stories about the issues and concerns of their organization, such as highlighting the ongoing issue of violence against women in the community. They have education, knowledge, expertise, and lived experience on the subject.
Our reality as a small independent outlet is we have limited resources. We may have been able to create one or two stories on a subject related to what RWSS does, but by partnering with RWSS, we were able to share many more. At the end of the day, we were able to create more and share more by partnering.
After we established ground rules, we added RWSS to our web platform, allowing them to create stories directly on revelstokemountaineer.com.
Here’s an example of one of their stories that appeared on revelstokemountaineer.com in 2019.
So, how do I partner up?
Call or text me at 250-814-8710, or email me at email@example.com. From there, we can talk about your ideas and see if there is an opportunity to partner on them. Often, this leads to conversations about choosing the best creative approach, such as a one-off story or maybe a series of stories.
The message is the same for writers, photographers, illustrators, and other contributors looking to work freelance with the Mountaineer. Start with an email or phone call and we can take it from there. We’re interested in sharing your work!
We will say no sometimes — please don’t take it personally
The most common story request we receive is from organizers of upcoming events seeking to promote the event to boost attendance. In fact, we get these requests daily, usually more than one per day. However, due to limited resources, we are not able to say yes to many of these types of requests.
A final thought
My goal for 2020 is to make revelstokemountaineer.com a platform for the best, most interesting stories and ideas going in the community. In order to do this during an extremely financially challenging time for local journalism, we’ll need to build many more partnerships within the community. For me, this means examining the role that journalism plays in shaping community and trying out new things, while preserving the core tenets of what journalism is.
For our readers and potential contributors, I ask you to examine your relationship to the information environment in the community and to ask yourself if you, in your personal, professional, or volunteer capacity, have a role to play in improving that information and communication environment in Revelstoke.
If the answer is yes, drop me a line, and don’t forget to share this story with other members of your community organization.