There is no one-size-fits-all solution to garnering the attention of local media. Sometimes your target is too broad thereby missing important local demographics or your message is out of touch with regional concerns. To make local campaign delivery effective, you need targeted pitches to each municipality where you want coverage. Here’s how to do it:
Find a local brand ambassador.
After you have determined the markets you want to target, reach out to local influencers who can help promote your brand. This might be an internal employee, a well-connected supplier or a local media influencer.
Beyond just content production or social sharing, bring external influencers into the discussion during the planning and deployment phases of the campaign. A local can connect you to opportunities or potentially identify risks you may not have seen otherwise.
The day before Black Friday, Yellowpages Media holds its Shop the Neighbourhood Day to jump-start shopping in communities across the country. To drive participation, the company reaches out to local personalities like Calgary’s affable Mayor Naheed Nenshi to produce short videos about the event. More than 8,000 businesses participated last year providing 6,000 day-specific deals that resulted in 750,000 shoppers engaging with the event.
Tie your release to a public event.
Add the human element to your brand via in-person activations at public events to build awareness. This can be as simple as having employees volunteer at a community picnic or as large as full sponsorship of a charity event. Both options give brands the opportunity to develop locally-relevant content and connections. Your team can discuss the latest focus of your PR or marketing campaign and how it will impact the community in a more relaxed, pressure-free setting than can be found in a board room or via email.
Also, be sure to live tweet, shoot video testimonials, and sign people up for your company’s email list to maximize your on-site opportunities.
Target local business news.
Make sure pitching the local business column is one of your key focuses with a release explicitly saying that you are expanding into a new market. Detail how large your operation will be, how many local hires it represents and why this market is important to the company. This opens the door to press to business consumers beyond your normal demographics and lends itself to a follow-up piece when the team is hired and your operation is running.
If your business is already established in the market, hold internal meetings with managers from a diverse range of departments to dig up stories about your brand helping the community, doing something extraordinary or comedic. Taking the pulse of a local market is a great form of internal networking. This helps put a face on the PR department and build your authority as a resource. Similarly, people will think of you when potential press opportunities arise instead of speaking off the cuff or avoiding them entirely.