Many of our clients for public relations are in the business-to-business space. Our goal is to get them attention in the trade publications read by their customers and potential customers. That attention can be stories about advances and use of their products and services, milestones in their business and personnel stories of their people. Real success is when there are not only stories about them, but when they are called upon for any stories about their industry to contribute as a thought leader.
For these clients, while based in city A, the amount of business from or available in city A could be very small. In that case, should they care about stories in the local daily papers, business journals or even broadcast media? I would argue yes, attention locally is still of value. There are several reasons why:
- Business may be national, but employment is local. People like to work for companies that they can be proud of. There is immeasurable cultural value in employees hearing from friends and family about positive stories they read about where they work. This kind of attention helps with recruiting and retaining the best.
- In a world of Google search, all media placement is national. One trouble with many trade publications is their web presence. Many place the full pdf of the magazine online instead of the actual stories living on their website. This means stories in trade publications can be missed by search. Daily media posts appear in search results, so those stories help contribute to national recognition.
- Just because it is locally placed, doesn’t mean it can’t be shared nationally. A local story has the potential to be very thorough about a product or service because it is probably on a topic not covered frequently, compared to a trade story that is used to covering the industry. That in-depth local story can be an excellent outreach opportunity to potential clients that carries both a deep description and the unbiased neutrality that any coverage carries.
- Most local daily papers and business media are part of a national organization. Local stories in business journals may also be picked up in other markets that are part of that ownership group. The same happens frequently with daily paper groups like the USA Today Network.
- Practice makes perfect. There may not be as much at risk with a local interview as with one in a targeted trade.
In conclusion, local media is just one part of a full media outreach continuum. A local story is different than one in a trade publication, and in some cases local can even mean more. Good PR covers it all.