ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR

Julie Morgan
Julie Morgan Julie is a PR practitioner with over 25 years experience assisting small businesses to get media coverage to increase sales. She is founder of the DIY PR website www.prguru.com.au and award winning, Melbourne-based PR agency, JMM Communications. Julie is a member of the Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA) and PRIA Registered Consultancy Group. Follow her on Twitter @prguruau and Facebook /prguruau

Julie Morgan has written 22 article(s) for us.

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Eight Tips To Generate PR In Your Own Backyard

September 6, 2012 | Julie Morgan

Eight tips to get your local media's attention and make the news.
Eight tips to get your local media's attention and make the news.

Regional and suburban journalists have a vested interest in getting to know the ‘who’s who’ of the community. Not only are they easy to approach, they are often open to story ideas and will respond reasonably quickly.

With the size of traditional media contracting and budgets tightening, journalists have less time yet more material to read. The best way to communicate is via a succinct, easy-to-absorb email. Networking is nice, but it works better for bloggers.  

Know who the journalists are and what they look like so you can introduce yourself when you’re out and about at the next local event. 

Here’s 8 tips on how to generate PR in your own backyard:

  1. Get to know your local print media. Writers at local newspapers tend to spend long periods at the same post, so it’s worthwhile forming solid relationships with them.
  2. Become familiar with what days photographers work for your local print media and plan your launches and events around them. Some smaller newspapers have freelance photographers that work on certain days only and don’t always have someone on hand to take photos on alternate days.
  3. Invite your local journalist to local events and launches, but don’t expect them to attend night or weekend functions unless they have a vested interest. If the media can’t attend an event ask them if they would like to receive a follow up media release and photos.
  4. Don’t expect that if you give a journalist a free ticket to a performance or dinner that they will automatically give you the coverage you desire. They are governed by an editor who may be juggling space commitments.
  5. Be open to including giveaways for readers. Often the cost is minimal compared to the extra space you may get and it’s giving something back to the local community.
  6. Often local media will ask for supporting advertising. Don’t feel pressured if you don’t have the budget, your news will probably still attract free editorial coverage. Likewise, don’t solely place advertising without negotiating some free editorial space.
  7. Don’t become a serial ‘drop in’ to ‘let them know’ about upcoming news – physically or through email. Wait until you have all the information at hand and then send it through.
  8. Your local community is just that – local, so be aware of what you say on or off the record about your competitors or local identities.

And finally, if you don’t have the time to write a press release or the resources, simply put in your email the who, what, when, where, how and why of your news and send it to the journalist.

Have you achieved results with your on DIY PR? Comment below and share the top strategies you used to get journalists interested in your business.