If you’re looking for ways to improve your brand’s online visibility in your local area, look no further than local PR. As an agency offering a whole host of digital PR, including local PR services, our experts know a thing or two about providing impactful campaigns for clients. Although there’s plenty you can do to get your brand in front of people’s faces in the real world, having a successful digital PR strategy can be priceless. Why? Because the value of online retail sales in the UK in 2022 was a whopping £106bn, and by increasing your brand’s visibility, you can put your business in the perfect position to take a bigger slice of that pie. In this post we’ll explore some of our experts’ tips for successful local PR, so you can get the wheels in motion yourself, or speak to us to see how we can help your brand increase its presence in local searches.
When compared to the likes of national campaigns, local digital PR efforts do what they say on the tin – they’re targeted to the local area. If you’re wondering how to do this when it’s all done online, we go into more detail later in this post.
Another advantage to local PR campaigns is that people in your area will have more visibility of what you can offer. A great deal of people like to shop locally where they can, even online, so when they’re made aware of your services and you’re nearby, (assuming you provide a good service and/or product) you build trust in this way.
In many cases in digital PR, building relationships with journalists is key. Plus, it’s much easier to build rapport with local press than national. Consider that the average journalist gets up to 30 cold pitches per day, if you’re targeting local press with relevant news, you’re much more likely to cut through all that noise. Plus, if you become known for sending good stories, they may even contact you in the future for help or ideas.
Tailoring your campaign has never been more important when it comes to local PR. Local publications aren’t going to be interested in anything that doesn’t relate to their specific area, so it’s important to ensure your press release is relevant. For example, if you’ve done some data mining and have some interesting information around a variety of different locations, you shouldn’t just bung it all into one press release and send it local online publications. That might do it for nationals, but not local press. Consider creating a set of press releases each focusing on one area, and then distribute those to the relevant publications. This goes for influencers too, think about where they’re based and what they’re going to be interested in.
Similarly to what we’ve just touched on, having a relevant hook is incredibly important if you want to catch the local press’ attention. Yorkshire-based publications will be interested in Yorkshire-based news, not Southampton-based news. You can create a press release template and just amend what you need to save yourself creating multiple fully bespoke releases, but you need to make sure the story is not only newsworthy, but also that you’re sending the right releases to the right contacts. For more information on writing a press release, we have a handy guide.
It’s highly likely that you’re not always going to have something interesting about your own brand to shout about. So this is where local news agendas can be a god send when it comes to local PR efforts. Make a point of scanning the local news in the area you want to target each day, or each week. Once you know what they’re talking about, you can consider if you can weigh in. This is called newsjacking, and is all about securing quality media coverage and backlinks by reacting to breaking news with thoughtful commentary, timely insights or expert opinion. If you think you’re placed to provide this, you can contact the writer to see if they’d like you to input into their story. Doing local PR this way also helps to eliminate press release writing, as they already have the story, you just have the additional knowledge to make it a better one.
Journalists are renowned for being super busy, so you don’t want to waste yours and their time by targeting the wrong people for your story. For example, business-related stories are best pitched to business-related editors, not health and wellbeing ones. So do your research and find out what each journalist at your chosen publications covers. Most regional publications are also owned by larger publishing groups, so you may find that one journalist writes across several regions, so bear that in mind when you’re compiling your media contact list.
We hope you’ve now got a good insight into how you can use local digital PR to your advantage and increase your brand’s visibility online. If you want a little more inspiration around coming up with digital PR stories, we’ve got a blog post that covers how to find ideas.
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