What’s better for getting local publicity, the new rules of PR on the web, or the traditional local media? For local businesses, it may actually be traditional media. In the video below, I explain the Local Media PR Formula and show how a local business received thousands of dollars in free publicity in a local magazine.
You can get PR for your business with a some thought and effort. Local reporters are always looking for story ideas. The key is to follow the formula and then give journalists what they want.
Be Notable – The story has to be something out of the ordinary. Refurbishing and reopening an historic downtown theater is notable. Your latest promotional gimmick or adding three people to your sales team is not.
Be Noteworthy – Most normal people should think the story is interesting. Most people would think the re-opening of The Cliftex theater is noteworthy. They would want to read about it. Announcing your new line of products in not noteworthy. It’s selfish, and no reporter will write that story.
Get Noticed – The Cliftex Theater got lucky. One of the owners had a friend who knew a reporter, and the friend passed the tip along. You may not be that lucky. Take the initiative and call someone to get the PR ball rolling.
Getting Noticed by Reporters
When you do make an effort to get noticed, don’t blow it or waste your time. Local newspaper reporter Carl Hoover had these tips for contacting the media:
- Make a phone call – You don’t have to type up the perfect press release to get publicity. Just get on the phone and start calling local reporters.
- Do your homework – Find out who would me most likely write about you. Different editors handle different stories. Before you make your “pitch” call, place an investigation call to find out who should hear about your story.
- Be easy to contact – Provide immediate contact information for the actual personal that has the detailed information. Give a mobile number where you can be reached immediately. Reporters work with deadlines and they can’t afford to wait 24 hours for a call back. They’ll move on to another story.
- Know the deadlines – Be aware of how much advance notice you need to provide. The earlier you call about your story, the better. Reporters work with deadlines, and the closer you get to that deadline, the less likely your story will be covered.
- Uniqueness – Maybe the most important element. Hoover says he looks for interesting people with interesting stories. Read the publication or watch the newscast to see what is newsworthy.
What story about your business is noteworthy? Have you made an effort to get noticed by the local media?