Local newspapers and magazines are an excellent way to build your business profile. Reaching out to local journalists and getting your business involved in noteworthy local initiatives and events (or even creating your own) are ways to get valuable mentions through local media channels. For cash-strapped and time-impoverished local SMEs – creating opportunities for coverage should be part of your marketing and PR strategy.
What’s the story behind the story….
Keeping the right journalists updated with the latest developments in your company is one great way to get noticed. Almost all local papers will have a news section relevant to your business whereby you can get a press release published. New services, new products or new staff are all good topics for a press release. Offline and online publication is a great way to get noticed by potential customers and earn you links in the most relevant places online.
Give them what they want
Getting to know your local journalist is a great idea. Once you have identified the most relevant publication to your niche and customers you can familiarise yourself with the sort of stories that will interest them. When a good idea grabs you, get hold of your local journo and pitch the idea!
Your Specialist Subject….
Remember that you are an industry expert! Reaching out to your local newspaper or a magazine with industry expertise will gain you local renown and position you as an authority. Coming up with an angle isn’t all about pure promotion – indirectly, but successfully, you can promote yourself and your firm in a prestigious way through this method.
Not just a one-way street
It’s all about communication and building strong relationships if you’re to have success with this technique. In order to open up channels and make connections, you need to have an awareness of the interests and passions of your customer base. It’s much more than simply pitching a story to a local journalist and pushing your message out there. Local businesses who depend on local footfall should devise strategies to engage online and offline with their customers. Social media platforms are immensely useful for this. If you drum up enough interest for an event – most likely, the local press will pick up on your endeavours and give you some coverage.