5-Step Guide for Securing Local Press Coverage

November 11, 2022  | 

Is your organization launching a new product or service, celebrating an anniversary, receiving an award or grant, expanding to a new location, or something else? Any time you have some exciting news to share, you want to be able to share that news with as many people as possible–and that happens through the help of the local press.

Public relations (PR) has many benefits, including:

  • Expanding your reach
  • Increasing your credibility
  • Driving traffic back to your website

And much more. However, if you’re not familiar with how to find these publications or journalists, it can feel overwhelming. Check out our 5-step guide for securing local press coverage.

Do Your Research

Google is the easiest way for helping you to find the right publications to pitch your organization. Before you can begin to research, it’s important to know what to look for to ensure you’re finding the right publications.

If you’re opening a new restaurant in Worcester and want to secure PR for it, terms you may search to find publications who would want to feature you may include:

  • “Massachusetts food blog”
  • “Worcester newspaper”
  • “Massachusetts entrepreneur podcast”

Searching these terms will bring you closer to finding exactly the types of features you’d be looking for:

  • Publications or blogs for foodies who would want to try your restaurant
  • Local newspapers to reach residents who are within your area
  • Podcasts where you can share your unique story of how you got started

Once you find ones that feel like a good fit, make a list so you can keep track of them all. In that list, you’ll want to include the name of the publication / organization, the contact information, potential topics you could speak about, and other important notes.

Sign Up for Distribution Lists

If you haven’t signed up for any distribution lists yet, most of which are usually free, it’s time to get started! They’re an easy way to connect directly with journalists who are looking to find sources for various stories or pieces they’re writing.

A few of our favorite distribution lists include:

Receiving the press opportunities directly in your inbox or combing through them on Twitter makes it easy for you to jump on the ones that align with what you’re able to contribute.

It’s important to note that although these distribution lists aren’t necessarily specific to Massachusetts, it’s still a good idea to join them in case Massachusetts-based opportunities come through. Plus, there’s never any harm in getting national press, too!

Build Relationships with Journalists

Twitter is a gold mine for finding journalists from your area and building relationships with them. Following them, sharing their articles, and finding ways to bring value to them can go a long way. The more you interact with them, the more they’ll know who you are and what your specialty is, allowing you to stay in the back of their mind for when they’re looking for an expert like you for a story.

What’s the benefit of this? It’s even better if you run into them in person when out and about and know who they are!

How can you keep track of journalists on Twitter? Start a list! Each time you come across someone that you think would be a good match, you can add them to your list, which makes it easy for you to refer to when you want to see what they’re tweeting about lately and find out if there’s an opportunity for you to work with them.

Be Consistent

You’ll likely hear “no” a lot, or even worse, get no response, before you finally get a “yes.” You may even find that you get featured somewhere without even knowing! That’s why it’s important to be consistent with your searching and pitching, even if you worry that it’s not working out. The more you do it, the better chance you’ll have of getting featured somewhere.

Along with that, don’t be afraid to follow up. If you submitted a pitch and didn’t hear back, follow up with the publication or writer a few days later. Their inbox often gets bogged down with many other pitches and stories, so it’s super easy for your email to slip to the wayside.

What’s the best way to get started? Dive right in. As you continue to look for these opportunities and pitch yourself, you’ll be able to find out what works and what doesn’t, helping you to put your best foot forward. You can also head to the Marketing + Communications section of our directory to reach out to a professional for support.

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