How to gain media coverage in the local news
Do you have a great story to tell or do you want to build your brand awareness but don’t know where to begin?
Gaining media coverage in local news is often overlooked in favour of chasing mass coverage in national media outlets. But with everyone competing for attention, local coverage could be one of the best ways to gain attention and grow your reputation, and it’s close to your customer or client base.
After all, while national coverage is the Holy Grail for some, it is increasingly difficult to obtain, especially without a big budget or a PR agency.
In this blog, we explain why local coverage is important and how you can get your story in the local news.
What is local news?
Local news ranges from a regional television station to local newsletters.
Local news not only keeps a community up to date with major stories, but it is also news that directly affects or involves them, which makes these types of stories very important.
This also means stories that work in one region likely won’t work in another – local news is tailored to the area it covers, so your pitch needs to be as well.
Why is local news important?
For businesses, local coverage is where they can have a large impact. After all, your main audience is likely to be the community you’re located in.
By gaining local coverage, you’re generating awareness of your brand and business within the community, which can lead to conversion in sales or attendance.
For businesses based outside the region, local coverage brings your brand into a more intimate space. Earned media is a great way to build trust, and earning local coverage furthers that trust by welcoming your brand into a community.
If your goal is to gain as much coverage as possible, your strategy might be to secure stories across various locations. If done properly, building your media presence across communities can pave the way for continued relationships with journalists and opportunities for more coverage. Contacts are crucial and you never know when they’ll come in handy.
Local news is all about local stories. A one-size-fits-all approach to telling or pitching your story will not achieve the cut-through you want.
While there are many nuances in achieving coverage, our top two tips are to know your audience and localise your story as much as possible. This could be as easy as providing a local case study that has relevance in a statewide or nationwide story.
Know your audience
The most important step of obtaining media coverage is knowing your audience. Once you know who you want to hear your story, the easier it will be to find relevant media and create the angle for your pitch.
If you want as many eyeballs on your story as possible, think about how you can break up such a large group into more manageable chunks. This is where local news comes in handy.
TV news coverage of a recent campaign Adoni Media managed regarding national property market data was made possible by making use of a local angle.
Adoni Media Communications Director, Clare Christensen, said: “We looked at the data to find a story and asked ourselves, how do we break down that story into locations where there is still a strong media presence?”.
“Once we had our target locations, we needed to turn the information into a story the local audience would care about. Facts and figures only go so far – you need to personalise the pitch for it to have an impact.”
Localise your pitch
Now you know who you want to pitch to, you need to think about the angle you’ll use for your pitch to resonate with chiefs of staff, journalists, news producers, and news directors.
The only way your pitch has a chance is if it is relevant to the target media – this means localising your story.
Here are some ways to localise your pitch:
- Case studies and testimonials: People connect with personal stories more than just statistics or blatant sales talk. Showing the real-life impact of your story is a great way to make your pitch local and stand out.
- Events: An easy way to bring out the local media is to hold an event, whether it be a press conference, community involvement, or a celebration. Even if your business isn’t located in the area you’re targeting, having spokespeople physically there provides a local angle.
- React: Tailor your messaging to respond to something happening within the community. Providing a commentator for a local issue helps build brand awareness without having to put on an event or create a story from scratch. Frequent contributions can establish your spokesperson as a go-to commentator.
Gaining local news coverage builds valuable trust in your brand that will help your business or organisation in the long term.
The team at Adoni Media is made up of experienced former journalists, including those who have worked in regional media in Australia. We have been tailoring PR campaigns for more than 10 years to connect brands and businesses with their target audiences and have successfully used local news to help our clients achieve their communication goals.
To work with us, or for a free consultation, contact us.