Local PR is one of the most cost-effective forms of PR today for a B2B company. Yet, do your neighbors even know you exist?
With so much emphasis on Internet marketing, it's easy to forget that potential customers reside right in your own backyard. Here are 5 ways to get the attention of local companies. Read on.
Won't You Be My Neighbor?
If you, like many B2B companies, occupy digital space instead of a storefront, you have a pool of potential local customers that may not even know you exist. Even if you have a physical space that customers can set foot in, they may not be aware of all that you do. Or simply be unaware of your business.
That's where local media comes in.
And, if you're still not convinced, consider this: Google favors local search results.
Here'a way to ensure you show up as local business on Google.
Also note: To rank high on Google's search, your website must be optimized for mobile. Google's new algorithm rolls out April 21, and if you're not optimized, you'll be left in the dust. Also, make sure your keywords are sprinkled throughout all of your content - including images. (Confession: We are scurrying to optimize our site).
Using local media outlets are a fantastic way to score points in search engines. Local reporters are always on the lookout for newsworthy events. When they find them, where do they end up? Yes, on the local news or in the local paper, of course. However, they are also published digitally, reaching a wider audience.
Reaching out to local media outlets is a stepping stone to reaching a wider audience. National reporters and editors all comb local media seeking story ideas. You can hardly count how many small town news items have gone viral after being reported on by ocal media.
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Rules of Engagement for Local Media Coverage
How can you make sure that you get your B2B company's story covered by local media? Follow these basic rules and principles and you'll be in good shape.
1. Make Sure It's Newsworthy and Has a Local Angle
You may be really excited about a piece related to your company or industry, but a reporter or editor falls to support your enthusiasm. Ask yourself: Why is this initiative important and how will it benefit others in the community? What is the local angle? If you find yourself drawing a blank, it isn't newsworthy.
Some initiatives you'll want to publicize locally include:
- The launch of a new product or service
- A philanthropic endeavor in the community
- The opening of a new local branch
- Human interest pieces (an employee with a remarkable story, etc.)
- Strong growth
- New hires along with expected new hires
2. Craft a Release and Pitch Note
Once you've passed the newsworthy test, go ahead and craft a press release. Include quotes and a contact person for the story. Offer photos and other visuals. If it's a print media piece, make sure it includes links to your site and other relevant sources. Don't just sent the release, but also send what's known as a pitch note. This is a brief summary of the story so the reporter or editor at a glance can see if this is something worth covering.
If you're a newbie to press releases, check out these 9 Ways to Craft a Kick-Ass Press Release.
3. Don't Blanket the Local Media with the Same Release
There's nothing a reporter hates more than receiving a canned email that's been sent to 40 other journalists with a vague subject line such as "Thought you might be interested in this."
Find a reporter who has covered similar stories that you are pitching and send a personalized email with a detailed heading, i.e. "New Product Launch on May 21". Send your release only to journalists who cover your topic.
Offer to be a source for journalists on industry matters. It's helpful to them to have a thought leader they can quote from, and it also builds your credibility in the community.
4. Be Friendly
Don't just go to a reporter when you need something. Build a relationship with reporters by interacting on social media outlets, such as Twitter. Meet with them face-to-face if possible. Attend local events and introduce yourself. Putting a face and personality to your company is just as important as your actual service or product.
5. Get On the Local Speeking Circuit
Public speaking engagements increase your credibility, visibility, and builds your reputation. Once you have been published in the local paper, it can be easier to find speaking gigs. This symbiotic relationship between public speaking and being published in the local media will solidify your local presence.
From Local Community to Global Community
Whether you have a large business, or are just launching a small startup, local media outlets are important for getting the word out. Think of it as the first pebble thrown into the water. The circles will keep getting wider and you're sphere of influence will grow.
How have you used local media in your B2B marketing? Tell us about in the comments below! We'd love to hear from you!
If you're having trouble getting your marketing off the ground, check out our "Kick the Tires" program. It's an affordable way to see how top-notch PR gets you the results you need!