How to Build Relationships with Local Media

Local media relationships can be the key to getting your business covered in the media. Once local media shows an interest in you, the potential to hit the national news increases. First, however, you have to prove that you’re a quality, credible, and professional business. It’s about building trustworthy and mutually beneficial relationships. Let’s take a look at a few tips and steps to help you succeed.

Connect Social Media

One step to begin building relationships with local media is to connect with them on social media. Chances are, your local media reps have both Twitter and Facebook accounts. They may even be on Google+, LinkedIn and more. Follow them, and when relevant and appropriate, connect, comment, and offer insight. Don’t use it as a means of promoting your business, rather use it as a way to start building a relationship. Don’t be surprised if they don’t friend or follow you back.

Get Involved In Your Community

Start playing an active role in your community. Host and/or attend charity events. Go to fairs and festivals. Also consider joining local networking events. The point is to get out and meet people. You may meet local media representatives at events. You may also get the opportunity to discuss your business, depending on the event.

Reach Out and Offer Assistance

Once you’ve established a relationship with a media representative, the next step may be to become a resource for them. For example, if you see information that they might be interested in, you could share it via a social media message, email, or a phone call.

Talk About Them on Your Blog and Social Media Posts

While you don’t want to go crazy with this, when your local media representatives share interesting information online and it’s relevant to your industry and audience, you can and should talk about them. Share their stories and links to their social media pages on your site and via your social media page.

Talk about them and get involved in their stories. You’ll undoubtedly capture their attention and if you’ve connected with them offline they’ll most certainly remember you. It can be a step toward developing a lasting relationship. They may be more inclined to cover your business in their publication.

Send Relevant Press Releases and Follow Up With a Friendly Message

Finally, as part of building relationships with local media, make sure to share your press releases with them. Make sure that you first have a solid understanding about their audience, the types of stories they cover and what their publication focuses on. Make sure your press release is relevant to them. If it is, send your media connection a personal message that contains your pitch. A pitch is a brief summary about the release along with a few sentences about the value of your information to their audience. What makes your information unique?


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