If only your business were featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle… that would bring the exposure you need to launch into success, right?
Rethink your approach. Small town news outlets have fewer readers, listeners, and viewers – but they are loyal, accessible, and eager to get involved. Furthermore, smaller outlets are often in need of content. Consider this – as large outlets have to make cuts, their journalists are itching to write stories. As small outlets make cuts, they are itching for news. Provide the content they need.
When I was working as the lead reporter at a small town paper, my first job out of college, I had the joy of writing a plethora of stories. We didn’t have a lot of crime and we didn’t often rehash the stories done by the “big boys.” We did human interest stories. We filled the pages with quirky anecdotes, business features, and informative pieces. And even as the talks of “the end of news” swirled, we fielded calls everyday from local readers who demanded things stay as they were. They looked for their paper in the mornings and they wanted to read interesting facts and useful tips.
And that, dear reader, is where you come in. As a subject matter expert, you can get free coverage by sharing what you know. Don’t approach the paper with a worn out press release – hoping for a free ad in the business section. Consider what you know and how you can help fill the pages with ideas and articles that will excite and prepare readers – anything from safety tips to party planning. You probably won’t get paid – but nothing like free exposure to a very loyal clientele.
Here is a free document to get you started. Print it, fill it out and start start discovering how you and your local news can be mutually beneficial. Keep it on your desk to remind you to reach out! Become the talk of the town!