Whereas I’m a big believer in going national if you have a strong story, there is a lot to be said for regional and local PR coverage. If you live in a major media city such as Los Angeles or New York, local media placement can be challenging because in a sense many of the outlets in those cities offer a more national slant; plus, simply because of the sheer numbers in those cities, the competition is fierce. But, even in major cities, if you shift your focus from the primary outlets and concentrate on the smaller more community based newspapers and magazines you can launch a local-oriented campaign.
Keep in mind what interests local media are local stories. You need to understand their audience and their needs. Their focus is community based. For example if you are based in or you were born in Boise, Idaho and you’re pitching the local newspapers or TV stations, your tie to that city is your lead. If you were pitching the Today Show or Time magazine, where you’re from or where you were born is generally incidental, unless it directly impacts the story.
Reference local events and/or partner when possible. When putting on your own event, use local resources. Pick a person or a brand that is well recognized in the community. If there is a local cause you can get involved with, do so. Connect with causes and charities that directly impact the area.
If you have a personal story that has a local slant to it, use it. Maybe a story as to how you built your business, or a story about how your product, service or company helped transform the life of someone else who lives in the community. The media loves transformational stories, so offer them one with a strong local hook.
Study the local media outlets. Research the types of stories they do, the style they use as well as their tone and approach. You want to pitch towards their needs. The more you study and learn about your local media outlets, the better prepared you’ll be to pitch them stories they can use.
Remember to tie in holiday oriented stories and pitches. Do something fun or different or interesting. Give it some thought. Don’t just stick to the main holidays; remember St. Patrick’s Day or even April Fools Day. But always give your pitch a local slant. Remember you’re drilling down, pitching narrow, not wide.
And don’t forget to amplify and magnify your local media coverage using social media. Whenever you get a newspaper or magazine story, or a segment on local TV, make sure and place links to those media hits on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media sites. And guess what, by posting your story on the internet; you’ve now turned that local story into a national and even international story.
Copyright © Anthony Mora 2011