Going Hyper-Local

Communication by Elycefeliz via Flickr.

By: Stuart Foster, guest blogger

The internet has been a game changer for PR. Social media has taken that game and raised it to another level. Everyone is plugged in, relationships are constantly in play and the room for error is nil.

Here’s the good news: this should actually make your job easier. Now you can target new sources, bloggers, and journalists through a variety of different channels. One way in which I have had a great deal of success is building up a local network.

Everyone wants to hit the front page of the NY Times. Hardly anyone ever does. The reason? You are competing with millions of PR people and any breaking news. What should you do? Go to journalists you know.

Embrace that personal, friendly and local touch that may have been sanitized out of you by pitching a huge amount of massive media conglomerates. With local influencers, the key is familiarity and your personal relationship. The channels that content has to travel through to be approved are also likely to be reduced.

The age of big media wins is essentially over. It’s all about conquering a plethora of smaller markets and expecting the bigger main stream media outlets to jump on the story once it reaches critical mass. This also will prove better for your long term SEO strategy (more proliferation of links) and will also add to your presence/brand online.

Ideally, you will have built up a substantial network of bloggers, influencers and journalists within your local area. If you haven’t, you likely aren’t doing your job very well. If this is the case, it’s definitely not too late. But you need to start now!

So how do you appeal to your local reporters/bloggers? Hit up networking events, drop an email or call randomly to check in, ask them what their ideal story is, and be a generally cool person. The best sources are always available, always informed and ready with information to best assist the creation of a story.

Remember…it’s about quality coverage AND quantity coverage. Take care of both and you will be indispensible to your client.

Stuart Foster is an independent social media/marketing consultant. Addicted to Bolt, Facebook, and other Social Media since their inception, he has taken this enthusiasm for new media to make connections, blog market, and other marketing efforts within those realms. He enjoys massive quantities of diet coke/caffeine, Boston sports, running (slowly) and has a tendency to lose jackets.

Copyright © 2009 Sasha H. Muradali. All Rights Reserved.

Comments

  1. Stuart,

    You make a great point about hitting the smaller markets. I used to do design work for a jewelry company that did just that. They would buy back the overstock from major retail chains and redistribute it through their network of small jewelry stores. This worked well for them for a number of reasons.

    Its the same with tweeting and blogging. You can get noticed by lots of smaller companies and media outlets.

    Mike

  2. @Mike Absolutely, the volume of information that can be created will often create a tidal wave if the story is of high quality. Go for the easy wins 🙂