7 Ways to Get Local Press Coverage for Your Business
Local press coverage is one of the most coveted forms of advertising and marketing. News coverage shows that your brand is reliable and trustworthy. And, positive free press can even drive leads and sales.
While many local businesses want news coverage, they’re not sure how to get it, or create newsworthy events that get people talking.
Tap into these seven strategies to generate buzz about your business and ride the success of a media blitz.
Reach Out to Editors With Interesting Stories
The first step toward growing local press coverage is coming up with interesting angles. You can’t expect local outlets to cover your brand just because you think it’s interesting. If you pitch a few newsworthy ideas, then you’re more likely to catch the interest of editors and producers who are the gatekeepers of content.
A few options you can use to promote your brand include:
- a prominent company anniversary
- a unique history
- changes to your brand that affect the community
- stories on how your brand is affected by national news.
For example, this article covers how national tariffs would affect local craft breweries. It takes a national story and makes it relevant locally. Pitching editors with great story ideas is a process. Not every idea will be accepted, and you will start to learn what gets picked up and what gets ignored. Over time, you should develop strong professional relationships with various media outlets that give you exposure for your new business.
Position Yourself as an Expert in Your Field
You don’t always have to be the feature story to benefit from news coverage. Some local businesses develop strong professional relationships with news outlets and provide information whenever they need it. This makes the reporter’s job easier while giving your business more exposure. A few examples of brands positioning themselves as experts in their fields include:
- An accountant offering finance tips and tax form advice
- A mechanic offering advice for buying a car
- A landscaping company providing tips for keeping a summer yard clean
When it comes time to files taxes or hire a landscaper, local residents will turn to your brand because they’re familiar with it. Your name is recognizable and reputable, which are two key components for choosing a company.
Make Sure You’re Easy to Reach
If you want to position your brand as a go-to for journalists, then you need to respond to their calls quickly. Most reporters only have a day or two to turn around a story. They will talk to anyone who is available and can give them the best information. If you make journalists wait several days for an interview or ignore their calls, then they will stop calling and move on. Make sure you’re committed to responding quickly if you want journalists to keep your brand in mind.
Also, consider signing up for Help a Reporter (HARO) to receive emails from reporters who need interviews.
Share Your Events on Local Calendars
Even if your brand isn’t listed on the front page, you can still benefit from visibility on local news pages. Share any upcoming events on local calendars and provide details related to your brand, the event, and any information attendees would need to know. Many people check these community calendars regularly, and are likely to notice if there’s something interesting and new.
Plus, some news outlets choose the top events for that week and feature them, or call the host for more information. While you might go unnoticed on the events page at first, local interest could increase your coverage. Consider using event marketing tactics to get even more coverage.
Invite Media to Special Events
Along with posting your events on community calendars, you can also generate coverage by inviting media to attend whatever you are hosting. After sending a press release of what the event is, send out a couple free tickets to different media outlets. These outlets don’t have to cover your event beforehand (though that would be nice), but if they attend then they will likely create a story around it and give you post-event coverage.
Even if you don’t get media coverage for the event, a local TV host or radio personality might attend and share photos with their social media followers. This influencer marketing boost can benefit your business just as much as a full media story. That’s not bad for sending free tickets to different stations around town.
Write Guest Articles or Host Regular Segments
If you’re looking for regular, reliable coverage of your brand where you control the story, consider reaching out to do a regular segment or contribute guest content to local papers, radio stations, or TV channels. You might be able to create a money-saving section or provide healthy living advice every month (or even every week) for their audiences.
Local media channels are increasingly cash-strapped with the rise of the Internet. They need people to create regular content on a budget.
Partner With Organizations With Strong PR Teams
You don’t have to have a strong PR-team to generate local press coverage for your brand. Consider working with organizations who get a lot of exposure and forming strong business partnerships that benefit you both.
For example, your company might sponsor a local 5K or create a drive for a local food bank. Local media outlets are more likely to cover nonprofit news because of the feel-good angle. You can help an organization in your area and boost visibility in your brand, both with the help of the nonprofit and through local press coverage.
Local Press Coverage Has SEO Benefits
While this article focused primarily on the business and exposure benefits of local press coverage, there are secondary benefits for your brand. As local news outlets link to your pages, you get a boost to your SEO strategy. These highly-reputable websites essentially validate your brand with their links. Over time, you could see your organic traffic grow because of improved search engine rankings.
If you want to make local press coverage part of your marketing strategy but don’t know where to start, contact MyArea Network today. We will review your company and brand messaging during a free consultation to determine how you can improve your marketing efforts and grow your business. A call today means revenue tomorrow.