If you are running an event that will attract delegates and sponsors within a specific geographical reach, whether consumer or business, then regional media will be a primary focus for your PR efforts.
Requirements for a successful regional PR campaign can vary significantly from, for example, a trade press campaign, so it’s worth noting a few tips:
Local Angles – Is it on our Patch?
The first thing a regional journalist will check is whether there is a specific local angle they can use for their paper.
A journalist is sure to get it in the neck from his/her editor if they spend time covering a story that turns out to be ‘off their patch’ so make sure your event is in an area covered by the paper or there is another local connection before you strike up a conversation.
Adopt the Right Copy Style
Different publications will adopt a particular style of writing (you only need to look at the differences in styles of national newspapers, from the Sun to The Times, to know what I mean!)
so take a little time to become familiar with their particular style and also what topics they like to write about.
If you tailor your news releases and stories to suit, you will have a much better chance of getting quality coverage.
A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words
Editors want their papers to look great and attract more readers.
Local and regional press rarely have budget to invest in expensive photography so if you can provide them with free, quality images that are relevant to the story, then you will be on to a winner!
Meet your Media
As event planners, you know better than most the importance of face-to-face communications.
Whilst editors are extremely busy, if you have relevant, interesting stories on offer and are looking to build a longer-term relationship, it is definitely worth setting up a meeting so that you can see how to work best with your local press.
Local radio can be an excellent way of reaching out to a wider regional audience. The key here is to target certain programmes or shows, in the same way as you would target a particular correspondent on a bigger paper.
If you have news, make sure it gets sent to the news desk and the producer of any relevant programmes.
The show producer is your key contact; discuss with them any ideas you may have for interviews with your main sponsors, keynote speakers, etc.
Getting regional TV coverage is not beyond the realms of possibility. Generally speaking, consumer stories are easier to sell in, but if you have a strong local business story then it’s certainly worth talking to your regional news teams.
The forward planner will be your initial port of call to have an event flagged in the diary.
Once you have a good contact, you can then build your relationship with the relevant correspondent and potentially work on other stories in the build up to your event.
As with all good PR, think about what potential stories you have that will be of interest to your target media. Develop appropriate angles and make best use of speakers, partners and sponsors to create a great pipeline of PR stories that will keep you in the press!
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