When it comes to media relations, a dream placement for a client might be securing news on the front page of the Wall Street Journal or camera time on “The Today Show.” Although those placements are obtainable, the reality is that those opportunities come few and far between. So, how do you move the needle in between big media hits? The answer is simple: local media relations.
Local PR can grow your business in the best possible place, your backyard. Your hometown paper and news station are clamoring for feel good stories about local businesses that are performing well and giving back to the community.
Whether it’s the New York Times or the Newnan Times Herald, at Trevelino/Keller, we strategically outreach to various local news outlets on a daily basis. Our tactics, however, change based on the outlet and the story we have to tell. Here are a few of our best practices for pitching media on the local level:
1.) Tug on the heart strings. Does your company or the company you represent give back locally? Is there a feel good story inside the organization that showcases the values of the organization? These types of news stories go over extremely well with local media and allow members of the community to see the human side of a business.
2.) Provide the local hook to a national story. Local media are always looking for local angles on national stories or trends to tie back to their community, so pay close attention to national news stories in which you can insert your brand. Is it expected to be the hottest summer on record? Are national standardized test scores at its lowest in decades? Determine where your company or client fits into the equation and outreach to your local paper or news outlet.
3.) Get to know your journalists. Members of the media are people too! By developing relationships with them, you’ll increase your chances at coverage. Be sure to track who is covering what and what topics they cover on a regular basis. You don’t want to send a crime reporter information on a new workout routine. Many of these journalists are active on social media, so be sure to engage with them through thoughtful posts to showcase your understanding of what they cover.
While there is no exact formula that shows how much local publicity leads to sales, the credibility-building role of media coverage helps an organization to strengthen its customer and employee relationships. At Trevelino/Keller, we are able to provide strategy to our clients on a daily basis to determine the best ways to reach media and how it will best benefit our client’s businesses.
About Jason Gilbreth
Jason Gilbreth is an account executive at Trevelino/Keller. He spends his summer nights at Turner Field and his weekends near the water.