Local media and why it still matters

As a business operating in the digital age you may be forgiven for thinking that the majority of your marketing strategy should be focused on optimising your site for search engines, online promotion and your social media channels.

Whilst these are undoubtedly important elements of any successful marketing strategy it’s also a good idea to consider how you can work with your local media to help support your marketing and PR activities. By neglecting the local media, you could in fact be missing out on a vital part of your marketing plan and one which could reap many benefits for your company. This is especially relevant to smaller businesses or ones which rely on a local customer base for support.

At Wagada HQ we have seen the benefits of working with local media both for our own business and those of our clients, such as promoting your brand and bringing you more customers. If you’ve never considered working with them to promote your business we’ve put together this useful guide to explain what it is, how it works and how you can use it to boost your brand.

Why does local media matter?

You can gain credibility and improve your brand image

Local media coverage helps to give your business credibility. A brand is built on its good reputation and it’s really important that customers and potential customers can trust your products or services. If your company receives a mention in a trusted media source or is talked about by a favourite local radio presenter for example then it really helps to build consumer confidence in your brand. Personal recommendation or third-party endorsement by the media is invaluable for your marketing and can really encourage customers to try out your business for themselves.

You can effectively promote your product or service

One of the key benefits of media publicity is that it is a cost-effective way of marketing. When you get a mention in the local media, offer advice on a radio show or talk at a networking event you are also getting the word out there about your business – without having to dip into your marketing budget.

You can reach new customers

Local media covers a range of channels such as your local newspaper, radio station, bloggers or regional TV channel.  It’s a really valuable tool in your PR arsenal for a number of reasons. Firstly, it lets you reach a very specific audience. Because you are targeting media in your area then it is far more likely to bring you the local customers that your business needs. People are always keen to support and find out about products and services which are based near to them, and so it’s the perfect way to get the message out about your business to the community in your area.

How you can make the most of local media

Getting the most out of your local media can feel a little bit daunting at first as it does involve getting out there, meeting people and good old-fashioned picking up the phone! However, there are lots of effective ways that you can generate excitement about your business in the media.

Join a networking group and your local Chamber of Commerce

Joining your local Chamber or becoming a member of a popular networking group is a great way to start getting your name out into the local community. Of course it’s fantastic to meet others in your local business community but it’s also an ideal way to really show off your expertise. Many networking groups run regular talks or workshops so why not offer to give a talk about your industry or service? You could even build on this by organising industry specific events or creating a Facebook page to host an online community. Many large networking groups have magazines or newsletters too so volunteering to write an article for them is another good idea to get your brand seen.

Build good relationships with local journalists

Building a positive relationship with the local press is a key ingredient to a successful PR strategy. By gaining their trust you will create a fantastic opportunity to get your business namechecked in their articles, radio shows, blogs or podcasts. The first step to this is to learn how to convey compelling news stories which show off what you do, how you do it and what makes you different, and which can create interest and excitement when you discuss them with journalists.

Another good idea is to ensure that you keep a PR calendar and always let the press know about any newsworthy events which may be coming up such as product launches or business milestones. You could also plan some specific press events which you can invite the local media to – really wow them with your business and your personality!

Share and shout about your expertise

Another way of getting your name seen is sharing your expertise with the local media. Do you think you could write a regular column for your local paper? Or perhaps you are happy to appear on a weekly advice slot on a local radio show? The media loves those who help them so don’t be afraid to offer them your services. They are often on the lookout for local businesses to give quotes or opinions on their industry area, and by being eager to help you’ll soon become their go-to person when they are reporting on an issue that could be relevant to your business.

Get involved in your local community

Taking part in a community or charity event can help to boost your brand and create excitement about your business. There are many ways that you can get involved – from offering a prize for a charity fundraiser to sponsoring a local football team. The opportunities are limitless and as well as having fun and doing something for a good cause you’ll also ensure that your business gets talked about and raises its profile in a positive way.

We love our local media and it offers businesses so many great opportunities to really shout out about the fabulous services and products that they offer. In a digital world it can be tempting to hide away behind your computer screen but we like to encourage our clients to step out into the limelight! So, begin building local relationships with your local media. Think about what you can offer them and the ways that you could get them involved.

Local media is a fantastic way of building trust in your brand and reaching the customers you want to reach, but we know that sometimes it can feel daunting putting yourself out there. That’s why at Wagada we can help to support your PR strategy. Whether it’s writing news stories or putting you in touch with local journalists we have the expertise to help your business get the exposure it needs.

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