First things first, create a list of every possible media outlet to tell your story. Larger markets will have more media opportunities. Smaller markets, you may need to get creative. Look at local newspapers, websites, business journal, local radio and TV stations, local radio stations, local magazines and curate a targeted list of outlets.
Get creative with how you can tell your story. Make a list of story ideas you can pitch from your product to new launches to entrepreneur and executive news. Work with your team to come up with fresh ideas and news going on with your company. Or partner with a PR professional who can look at your business with a fresh set of eyes and create a continual pipeline of news opportunities.
Pay attention to national news and bring it home. Watch for timely trends in national publications and websites that you can pitch on a local level. Can you take the news of the 2019 Pantone Color of the Year to a local level and position your design business as an expert with 2019 color trends? Pitch yourself as an expert on a national trend/story on a local level. Reporters and journalists love to showcase how a national trend or experience is being executed in their market.
Perfect example of this is with a salon and spa client of Carolyn Sutton PR. In 2017, The New York Times did a feature story on the trend of microblading. We quickly turned around and pitched the story to our local paper how a local salon + spa was spearheading the microblading trend in Omaha. It resulted in a feature story in our paper, a TV news segment and our client booked more than $5,000 worth of microblading services in one weekend.
Local influencers can be a fabulous way to tell your story and connect the dots between brands. Begin building relationships with local influencers and find ways to collaborate and partner. A Carolyn Sutton PR design studio client needed to showcase holiday styling, so we brought in a local influencer + blogger to shop and style for the holidays. Last year, we pitched a holiday styling trend story to our local newspaper and landed a feature story for the same client.
Typical, old-school PR tactics may not be the route for you to go, but reconsider using a Media Advisory to drive local chatter. The Media Advisory can still be an effective tool for driving local TV and radio publicity for your brand. Create a media advisory in advance of your event or news to tell who, how, what, when and where and leverage it with local media. You may snag a TV segment showcasing your story or a targeted radio interview.
Go to lunch or have coffee with the media contacts at your local CVB. They are likely in the know of upcoming media opportunities and can keep you on their radar for future publicity.
Do not minimize the importance of local media coverage! You should be making a name for your business and company and be proud and loud in your own community.