On Tuesday, February 10th, I had the pleasure of moderating a webinar discussing “How to Drive Business Though Local PR.”
Our participants, Nicole Rivard, Editor of the Norwalk Citizen-News and Matt Gentile, Director of PR and Brand Communications at Century 21, offered tips from both sides of the news release for successfully reaching targeted audiences in community publications.
Nicole Rivard first discussed the types of stories of most interest to an editor at a weekly community newspaper. These included news about local companies (or more likely, national brands with local branches, outlets, or franchisees) with the following content:
- Giving back to the community
- Participating with local schools
- Opening a new business, location
- Reaching a milestone
- Growing the business
Matt Gentile spoke about Century 21’s efforts in reaching consumers and potential franchisees via news on the local level. Some of the most successful releases have positioned local agents and brokers as industry experts to whom the local media can turn for trend-related stories.
Century 21 not only targets various local markets from corporate headquarters, but also empowers regional offices and up to 4,000 brokers with a tool to easily and quickly send press releases to their own local media. The application they use, PR Studio, was developed by Grassroots PR.
Here is an overview of things to remember when pitching local media:
ü ONLY pitch stories that have a true local connection, such as a physical presence in the market, connection to a local businessperson, or event taking place
ü READ content from the publication prior to engaging to see if your story is a good fit for what is happening locally
ü BE AWARE of deadlines and printing schedules for weekly publications
ü EMAIL releases directly to journalists as opposed to relying on wires, social media, or other methods better suited toward national outreach