Why do politicians’ staff members, or their consultants, send print media “news” releases about a new television ad the candidate is running? That’s dumb. Do they think those stories are going to be published?

In nine out of 10 instances, those messages are dumped faster than you can spit gum from your mouth. Why should print news outlets direct their readers to television, a competitor? Is it news that a candidate is running a TV ad blasting his opponent? Hardly. That’s dumb. It’s not news!

Sour grapes? Call it anything you want, but we don’t print those releases because the subject is not news.

If a politician who is running for a state office doesn’t use print advertising he or she is missing a powerful medium for their messages to voters. The Missouri Press Service, the advertising arm of the Missouri Press Association, can place an ad in every newspaper in Missouri. The MPA membership consists of just about every newspaper in the state. Most are community newspapers — weeklies, twice-a-week newspapers and small dailies. The rates are low. The coverage is vast. These newspapers are read thoroughly — every page.

Holding a newspaper in your hands and reading it is personal. A print ad in a community newspaper can be compared to sending a personal note. It is lasting. It’s not a 30-second sound bite. Readers return to a newspaper if interrupted. It is placed in a convenient place, within easy reach. A newspaper often is kept for reference. You can’t do that with something on the tube.

Newspapers don’t send press releases to TV stations to inform them that a candidate has an ad in print. That would be dumb because the station would trash it.

To keep sending those releases to newspapers is dumb. Please don’t clog our computer with those releases. You are wasting your time and our time. Most of all you are adding a cost to a candidate.