There are a countless number of local PR opportunities available to businesses and developing a good brand image within the local area often has a positive impact on your business. You should always be on the look-out for any opportunity that can publicise your business; especially if it is going to be free!
Any events, achievements or milestones for your company should be utilised to their full potential and you should draft up a press release including some key quotes from a director or senior manager and send this out to any media contacts that you can find within the area. Remember though; journalists have seen and heard it all so make sure your story is original. Put yourself in the shoes of the reader; would you find your story interesting or would you just skip by? Try not to be biased but be honest and ask other people for their opinions.
If it is an event you’re holding that benefits the local area in any way, contact a local journalist and explain some of these benefits and also try to include a quirky element to the event, whether it be a fancy dress element or prize draw, to get their attention and get them interested in covering the event.
If you are looking in general to get your company and the product or service noticed locally, try sharing your expertise of the industry you operate in. Contact the local papers and radio stations and explain a little about your company and what you do. Keep yourself as an available contact should the radio stations or papers ever require expert comment on a news story or subject. This is a nice way of getting your business some consistent local exposure.
If your business is of an appropriate nature, you could try to obtain regular local PR by pitching a local paper with an Ask the Expert’ column. This would involve you offering to answer readers’ dilemmas or questions on your speciality subject. Also, do a little research and try to narrow your pitch down to a specific section of the paper; this will show the journalist that you have thought about adding value to the quality of the publication rather than just wanting to get your business noticed.
If your local paper has a letters page then contribute something substantial and meaningful and write on behalf of the company, but be sure not to make your views too controversial as you risk damaging the reputation of your company. Try to write on a regular basis so as to maximise your chances of being published. If you have a strong belief on a topic it is likely to generate discussion that will hopefully add to your exposure.
Remember the golden rule whatever your story it shouldn't be used an advertisement for your company; you risk the reputation of your company and any future relationship with the media source. Subtle mentions of what your company does isis acceptable, anything more and it becomes blatant advertising; a journalistic 'pet hate'. Finally what is great about generating local PR is that normally there is noever a cost involved so it can be an inexpensive and great way to generate some publicity. Search for issues or news stories that tie in with your business, see who writes the pieces and remember them for your future stories as the chances are they will be interested in anything you have to offer on the subject.