Today, businesses can spread their PR message far and wide and easily appeal to the public on a national or global scale. But what about local PR? In the age of digitisation, the internet, and social media, the local market is often overlooked but it shouldn’t be as it can offer a huge boost to your PR campaign.
If your company has a more regional operation, we discuss local PR below including five ways you can improve your reputation and brand awareness in your immediate business vicinity.
A Brief Introduction to Local PR
In most instances, businesses have a head office or a base of operations tied to a specific location. Local PR aims to promote your business within that specific location so you can forge a closer relationship and build trust with your local community.
You are essentially taking the standard PR practices and strategies, but condensing them and concentrating them on the region surrounding your business. This could be a county, a city, a village, or a group of towns for example.
By building an effective local PR strategy, you can become the defacto company for your industry in your local region that customers choose. Local PR can also give you an advantage over competitors, build relationships with other companies and local media outlets, and ultimately lead to more customers.
Effective Local PR Strategies to Tap Into Your Immediate Customer Base
Local PR is different from a national or global approach and it could be beneficial to hire a PR agency to help. You can give them the local info and insight into the region, and the local PR company can use this info to formulate strategies you can use. To help further, I have listed five simple strategies you can use to boost your local PR below:
1. Utilize local media
The first thing you should do as part of your local PR strategy is to reach out to local media outlets. This can include newspapers, online news sites, community websites, local journalists, and local radio stations.
These media outlets are the prime methods you will use to disperse your local PR message so it’s important to forge connections and make yourself known. A local PR company can help reach out to these outlets but it’s also an ongoing process that you will have to work at.
2. Get involved in local events
Depending on the size of your local area there may be a range of local events you can show support for and get involved with. Examples include:
- Sporting competitions.
- Church or village fetes.
- Coffee mornings.
- Charity events.
- Local festivals.
This requires a more hands-on approach compared to digital PR strategies, but it can be incredibly rewarding. The more people see you interacting with the community and getting involved, the greater the bond of trust will be.
3. Join local online groups
If you do a little digging you can find a host of online and offline local groups including:
- Sports organizations.
- Facebook groups for a village or town.
- Facebook marketplace groups.
- Local community websites.
- Parish councils.
These are all potentially great sources to spread your PR message to the local community and they have the benefit of already being established. When joining or interacting with online groups like this, always check the guidelines as sometimes the groups may not allow business promotion unless you specifically request it.
By interacting with these local online groups and communities, you can get your PR message out there and people will start to recognize your business and pay attention to what you are saying.
4. Find an angle that appeals to the locals
Generally speaking, the local public and media outlets don’t care about national events or business on a global scale unless it directly affects their community.
As a result, your local PR should have a more personalised and intimate approach that takes into consideration local events, landmarks, and organisations.
For example, you could work with local charities or make donations to local causes. This does require a little research and effort but by utilising a local angle in your PR media, you will connect better with the general public as opposed to making a heap of PR smoke about global topics they simply have no interest in.
5. Reach out to local businesses
While local news and media outlets are imperative for local PR, don’t overlook other local businesses too. Obviously, this shouldn’t include competitors! You don’t really want to forge relationships with them although you should always be courteous and friendly if contact arises.
Instead, look for complementary businesses, or respected local companies that already have a good reputation. You can reach out to them with things like press releases, guest posts, and mutual agreements for promotion.
Many local businesses do this and it yields results as you end up with a core of trusted companies in a local area that work together for mutual benefit and positive PR. As the saying goes, you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours!
Don’t Neglect Our Local Audience When Creating PR Strategies
As you can see, local PR can be especially effective and it’s a strategy that businesses often overlook in favor of national or global exposure. While these are both important too, building your reputation, standing, and exposure in your local area can work wonders; especially if you mainly service a particular region and have stiff competition.