26 Sep How to Get into the Local Papers
Tips For Marketing Locally – get into the local papers
Many people underestimate the importance of local press, or treat it as some second best option. My advice is treat your local paper as if it was as important as The Times – and you never know, that eager young journalist might one day be writing for The Times. Wouldn’t it be nice if he or she were on your side from the beginning?
What can you possibly offer that is newsworthy to their readers? Are you or you company involved in a local project or charity event (and if not, why not?). If you offer a service to the public, such as alternative therapy, can you get together with some other therapists and put together an open day where people can experience your services at a reduced price and you can get the press along to cover the event?
Offering competition prizes for readers is a great way to get publicity, and usually a picture, for minimal outlay.
Can you write about something that is of interest to the readers and offer the piece as free feature?
4. A column.
Maybe you’ve got enough to say and the style to say it with to get yourself a regular unpaid column. Put a proposal together and ask some friends and family if they think it is interesting enough to capture the general reader.
5. Letters to the Editor, Part 1.
Whether it’s about the latest traffic calming scheme, or a reaction to last week’s centrespread, many papers publish letters to the editor where you can work in an approach that will get you and your company mentioned.
6. Letters to the Editor, Part 2.
To encourage people to write, newspapers sometimes give away freebies to people who are published. Why not offer your own products or services as an incentive – this is wonderful publicity as looks as though the newspaper is endorsing you.
7. A good old stunt.
Whether it’s dressing up as a pink chicken or abseiling down your building for charity, don’t knock the tried and tested methods of publicity as it purest.
8. The personal angle.
Are you a woman running a small business, or maybe somebody who received a local grant and would like to write about what a difference it’s made and how others can go about getting one? Your local newspaper might well be interested in the human angle. Speak to the women’s or feature editor for their reaction.
If you do have to spend out money on advertising (and most of us do at some stage) find out the deadline and always leave it until the last minute to get yourself the best deal, and negotiate for some editorial space if possible. You don’t get if you don’t ask.
Do a local survey on something related to your industry, especially if most people can relate to it, even if it’s a look at how many people avoid going to the dentist until they really have to. If you can break the survey down further into local areas then even better!