26 November, 2014
Following our new intro about how to write a press release, our next guide looks at how to get coverage in your local media.
The value of your local newspapers or radio stations depends on your organisation. Local communities might be key audiences in terms of service users, donors or customers. They could be the people you need to communicate with in terms of your image and reputation; how you’re viewed by the people who live and work where you do.
Even if you’re a national organisation, communicating with people on a local level can help them to identify with you more closely. And in some areas, a weekly paper has a greater readership than a national daily, so be careful before you write them off as not worth the bother.
Check your area
It’s really important to understand the media you’re targeting. The first thing is to know what area they cover, which can vary from two villages to a whole county – or the north of one county and the south of another. Technology means you can listen to radio stations online and read newspaper content so it’s easy to do your research.
The right content
The local media landscape is changing. Newsrooms are much smaller than 15 years ago and staffing is tight. Opportunities for coverage are also shrinking as some local papers close or merge, and many independent local radio stations share content once their breakfast shows are over. You have to present your story in the best possible way, and make it easy for journalists to use your content. Our guide will help you to achieve that.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that local media all tend to have Facebook pages and Twitter feeds so images, captions and Tweets are important for whoever you’re speaking to, be it print or broadcast. Video or audio taken on your smartphone is good enough quality these days so why not use it?!
Just make sure you check your pronunciation and your spelling of people and local place names. There’s no better way to flag yourself as an outsider if you get one wrong! Here are a few to ponder… Beauchamp, Sideway, Alnwick, Heysham, Berkeley, Beaulieu, Olantigh Park, Ainderby Quernhow.
Visit the Resources section of our website for this and many more guides.