5 things to keep in mind when working with local media

By Posted in - Community & Media Relations & Public Relations on August 16th, 2011 0 Comments

We have the opportunity to work with writers and publications based all over the country – and sometimes internationally. Each person and outlet is unique and has an individual preference on how and when to receive news.

And while many of our clients are nationally recognized, we also work with local organizations with a vested interest in the Greenville community – which means we also cultivate relationships with our hometown media outlets. I recently received a few tips from a features editor at our local daily newspaper, and thought they were worth sharing:

  1. Think names – Nothing motivates readers (especially of a local publication) better than seeing names of people they know. Public relations professionals have a golden opportunity to do this by providing news that is person-centered. Include the names of people who are involved in an event, have won an award, etc. – all much more interesting than just calendar information.
  2. Think dates – For our local daily newspaper, the key is 12 days. Editors are always dealing with information that will not appear in print for at least several days after submission. Work with your local outlet to determine their editorial timelines.
  3. Think priority – As you prioritize information, keep in mind that the newspaper aims to be as direct as possible. If you are providing information such as rank, list the highest or best first and continue sequentially.
  4. Think photos – Newspapers welcome any photos that offer a visual element to your story (especially if it’s person-centered). But make sure you check with your local outlet to get image specifications – like width/height, pixel count, etc. – before submitting.
  5. Think interesting (and names again) – Following up on the first point, people (and consequently, newspapers) love human interest stories. Share news about someone who goes above the call to help others, has made an unusual accomplishment or is just plain interesting. Local papers also like to share stories of newcomers with an interesting background who are contributing to the community.

While this certainly isn’t an exhaustive list, it reminds us to get familiar with the preferences and policies of the outlets we work with, and to give special love to our local media. Do you have any other points to add?


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