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Scare tactics don’t stand up

Atikokan is a township in the Rainy River District in Northwestern Ontario, Canada. The population was 2,753 as of the 2016 census.
According web sources, “Through the years Atikokan has seen many industries come and go, but one thing remains is their fighting spirit. They continue to succeed in bringing business to the small community.”
I’ve never been to Atikokan, but each week I read the Atikokan Progress newspaper. It was because of its owner/publisher Mike McKinnon that the Echo’s email edition was started. Setting it up was the easiest way to trade newspapers across the border.
Recently I was surprised to learn that its Chamber of Commerce board decided to stop operating its tourist bureau. Located on Highway 11 in Ontario, during summer months it greeted about 3,500 visitors to the area. Using volunteers and students, the bureau had been staffed at a cost of approximately $10,000. The chamber has a part-time manager who will continue to create events and activities.
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In Ely, organizations also come and go. One topic which frequently arises with Echo visitors is: How do I get publicity for my event. There is truly a lack of understanding about the role of a community newspaper. Friends have asked if subscribers pay the weekly costs of publishing a newspaper. The answer is: No. We pay over $62,000 per year in postage.
It is advertising which pays for wages and printing costs.
We now have a free brochure: “Planning an Event?” which offers some guidance to non-profits and others. Stop by the Echo office if you would like to have one for your organization or business. It takes you through the time line, the difference between news releases and advertising and how to budget. We hope it will be helpful.
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I got emails and phone calls from all over about the humor column by Dorothy Rosby. She’ll have another one next week.
And if you have a writing or reporting interest, let me know. We’re interested in part-time stringers, too.
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In the Ely Echo of March 10, 1997, twenty years ago, the headlines were:
• City projects busy road work season;
• Winter comes back to Ely; almost a foot of snow falls;
Heritage tourism is focus of Ely workshop;
State Theater’s new owners plan remodeling;
• Morse township survey yields 56% response from landowners.

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