You have a great story to tell. You’ve written up an interesting press release, and you’re hoping to land some serious coverage from the media. What do you do now? Who do you send your press release to?
While you might picture yourself sitting on the couch across from Oprah, you’re probably better off starting local before trying to spread your wings far and wide. Here are 3 key reasons to target smaller local media outlets.
Your story has a better chance of getting covered – If you had to place a bet in Vegas, what do you think you have a better chance landing coverage on: Oprah or the local news morning show? If you were smart, you’d most likely bet on the local morning show. That’s not to say you shouldn’t try to swing for the fences and earn national coverage, but you’re much likelier to earn success by hitting some singles and doubles with getting local media coverage.
It’s a chance to learn the ins and outs of media relations – Now is the perfect time to learn how media relations works. When you’re working with the local media, you can more easily learn the dos and don’ts of media relations. Then, as your company grows and you start getting more attractive opportunities, you won’t be completely lost as to how to work with the media effectively. Better to make your mistakes now than later.
National news outlets look for interesting small stories – A lot of people forget that most major media outlets get a significant percentage of their stories from the local media around the world. They find the most interesting stories, and they pick them up, giving them national or worldwide media coverage. So, getting your story covered by the local media could prove to be the first step to getting that major national coverage you covet.
Now that you know some of the key reasons to target the local media, let’s quickly go over a few tips for media relations success.
Get to know the local media. Figure out which reporters would be likeliest to cover your story.
Develop relationships with targeted reporters over time. Just don’t be overbearing.
Make sure you pay attention to changes at local outlets. Your favorite reporter could get a promotion or a transfer without you even knowing it.