Some of us with a Y chromosome are in the process of forgetting Valentine’s Day entirely or, alternatively, panicking. But most of us in the editing business – regardless of gender – will be looking for some kind of Valentine’s Day story that we haven’t already covered into the ground. These holidays (particularly the Hallmark variety) often require some kind of acknowledgment in the local paper, but sometimes coming up with something fresh is difficult.
So, as a public service, I have some ideas. Feel free to adapt to your community or steal outright. And if you have any ideas of your own, please comment below.
A day in the life of a florist. They will be busy, but it’s got great photo potential if you convince a local florist you will be more like a fly on the wall than a pain in the butt. This is something we’ve done more than once here in Half Moon Bay because our area includes many flower growers.
Preschool cards. I bet some local school is having kids make cards for parents or friends. How about a gallery of them on a feature page front along with a short story? Maybe match a mug with the child artist. …A love story. Something unusual… it could be two older citizens who perhaps met at the senior center or people who reconnected at a high school reunion. You get the idea. Consider asking Facebook friends of your newspaper to come forward with their stories.
The power of chocolate. Why is chocolate such an enduring gift for your honey? Where does the tradition come from? Is it an aphrodisiac? It’s not particularly local, unless you have a big chocolate manufacturer or retailer in town.
Design a card. Use a feature front to design a last-minute card that cads can simply cut out and give away. It’s silly and fun.
Hold a contest. Hook up with a couple advertisers – maybe a restaurant and a bed and breakfast – to give away a Valentine’s Day prize to the best love story. Print all of the entries or just the good ones. Make them a Web-extra if you like.
Honey selfies. Invite people to post selfies with their honeys on your Facebook page.
Create a hashtag. Something like #montroselove, and ask folks to tweet their devotion. Maybe make it a way to share short love poems.
Write a Feb. 14 editorial. Trace the history of the holiday or impart the importance of sharing our love or tell readers that the day is a reminder to love all of our neighbors. Look for a local hook.
Invite love letters. Tell readers you will print the best letters to the editor that relate something in the community the writer “loves.” Print them on the editorial page or wherever you think they fit.
There. Don’t say I never gave you anything. Good luck with the holiday.