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How To Write A Race Report – 2014
This is a reprint of a story I wrote two years ago. I wish I could say it had a positive impact on the quality of reports showing up in my inbox, for the most part it did not. I am continually amazed at the absolute lack of promotional skills many top teams and riders have. With so many riders and teams looking for support, most are completely clueless at communicating their message.
As always, KTM leads the way with reports that are timely, have photos and include complete results. Husky, Beta, Motorcycle Superstore, JCR Honda, Dirtwise, you guys all need to step up your timeliness, content and formatting.
For all those other teams and riders out there, I don’t have the time to go in search of your race reports. If you hope to have them published, you have to send them to me in a format I can use. This goes for you race promoters also. There are plenty of series that we never receive any race news about. I would be happy to print it, but you have to send me something that will be of interest to my readers.
How To Write A Race Report
If you find this of interest, please make sure to pass it along, Thanks Chilly
The 2014 offroad race season is getting started with a bang. Already there has been some great racing and related stories to tell. As a media guy with a website, I find myself at times inundated with race reports. I also find myself wondering where other race reports are (Am-Pro, OMA,Purvines). Mostly I spend way too much time getting everything organized into a format that is usable for me to publish.
First of all, if your name is not Mullins, Baylor or Whibley, chances are you did not win the race. Don’t be offended if you do not get published. Keep at it. I learned a long time ago that if you can’t be the fastest racer, then make yourself useful, of value to people. In relation to a race report, make it something of value that will encourage people to read it. It can be a great story, photos or results.
Race Report Guidelines:
It should to be in a Word document, but plain text in the body of an email is also suitable
It has to include photos from the event. No stock pictures
You will send it as an email with four attachments: 1) Story, 2) race photo, 3) podium photo, 4) candid photo of you
All photos will be in JPEG format
It will include results, minimum top 5 places, top 10 is even better
It will state: the race, date, series, club and location
Make sure you have permission to use all photos, include photo credit
Feel free to include sponsors, upcoming race information, team information, links etc, but understand that I may choose not to include them
Write something interesting, something that will make people want to read about you and follow your racing
Average reports should be between 250 and 500 words. If longer, it had better be interesting or it might get edited
Make sure somebody else proofreads it. I typically don’t, so everyone will see your grammar mistakes
Use photos that include your face so people will know who you are
Photos do not have to be professional, just give the camera to somebody; they are bound to get a couple of usable shots. Whenever possible include photos of the finish and race winners, that might just help you get published.
Make it timely, the clock starts ticking as soon as the race finishes, your report only has value for a couple of days. I need it Monday morning, by Wednesday it is old news. The sooner you send it, the higher the chance of being published. KTM sends reports out on Sunday night.
It is best if you give me an opportunity to post the report before it goes to your Facebook page. Once you have posted it to social media, the value to me is lessened. If you really want to be on my good side, let me post your report and then you can link it from your website or social media. Everyone gets the benefit that way.
Be consistent about your reports. Write them for every race, not just the ones you did well in.
Create a simple free photo site to host all your pictures, such as Smugmug. That way I can go look for your photos at some future time if needed
Do Not Send Me:
Anything in a PDF, Zip file, or any other file format
Preformatted fancy E-mails, save those for your website and social media
Anything that requires following a link to find your information
Any photo that is ridiculously small or large, re-sizing photos is very easy in a free program like Picasa
Do not combine reports from separate races into one report
These guidelines apply to everyone, even the top teams. Follow these guidelines and you will be composing a better product than many of the professionals.