While today’s small businesses and small public relations firms have a number of economical means to reach national and international media–e-mail, on-line press kits, and press release delivery services, such as eReleases–the pitch will still need to be as good as the product to achieve results. Assuming merit exists for media coverage halfway across the world, crafting a press release around a hometown perspective can detract from a its news value. Even for editors in surrounding towns and cities, success stories about your immediate business community will be of little interest.
Before spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on a public relations campaign, you may want to develop your sense of “local appeal” on a regional, national, and global scale. Finding relevant angles of reference for different media circles will help you achieve a more targeted presentation, significantly increasing your chances for coverage.
Your existing press materials can serve as a starting point, revising previous a press release campaign and its background information into national or continent-wide neutral terms. The process will help weed-out non-essential content about your immediate business circle, with the added benefit of improving its overall clarity and completeness. Key areas to review include the company profile statement, product and service descriptions, and position in the marketplace.
Once you have developed a strong press release, it can be modified for specific regions, including applicable measurements (metric or imperial) and sales figures in appropriate currency. Where possible, use statistics and historical references from the target market to drive home your point.
Fact-finding with your existing business relations can help determine which media you should initially target. This can lead to name value testimonial(s) for your press release, providing credibility by association. Your clients, for example, may interest certain geographic- and trade-based media markets if referred to in your press release.
When approaching clients for a testimonial quotation, determine:
— Where are they located (local and other major offices)?
— Where do they do most of their business?
— If they are a subsidiary, what country is their parent company from?
— Where have they succeeded to find media coverage?
Gathering this information first will provide your press release with more effective testimonial quotes and background information that can be targeted to specific media. Further, by discussing their own media relations, clients may direct you to writers and editors who have previously reported on their company and the industry.
This approach can equally apply to other working relationships, such as suppliers, distributors, and investors, amongst others.
Another way to develop credibility by association is through industry experts. An effective quote from a name-value expert regarding a growing industry need–one that your product meets–can help create interest from media that regularly interviews them. This will also be of interest to other industry publications and regional/national media when the expert has a local speaking engagement, generally at a publicized event.
Other local connections can be drawn from hot button issues. If certain industry matters are an ongoing concern either regionally or nationally, they will remain topical in both trade and general media. Addressing these issues in your press materials, particularly by demonstrating innovation or market fulfillment in your products and services, will create top-of-mind presence with those editors.
If pursuing media markets where no ties exist, consider establishing local representation. Trusted industry contacts made through trade shows, conferences, business travel, and other networking opportunities can serve as your media representatives in other states, provinces, or countries. The advantage is that the media will find it more practical to deal with someone locally than trying to contact you at a distance, and expense. As your media contact list grows, it will enhance your image as an established, international company.
This article, written by Adam Bello, originally appeared in PR Fuel (http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel), a free weekly newsletter from eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. To subscribe to PR Fuel, visit: http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/subscribe/.