There's no such thing as 'local media'

The evolution of how we gather our news through the web and social media channels has been great news for PR pros.

The evolution of how we gather our news through the web and social media channels has been great news for PR pros. Many of us have gnashed our teeth about the demise of the newspaper but people are still ingesting news; they are just doing it differently. Two examples …

Back in the day (the day, by the way, was like five years ago) when you landed an interview for a client in a local media outlet we would have to try to tell everyone to tune in and hope that the audience we wanted to reach was watching, listening, or reading.

Thanks to the internet, social media, e-newsletters, and more, that is no longer the case. For PR pros this is great news. We can make a case to our clients that what used to be considered a small hit is now something that should be shared virally and used as a marketing piece for the long term.

It is our responsibility to take these links, PDFs, etc. and get them to the captive audience through social media  platforms and electronic means of communication. Yes, all of our clients still want to know when they will be on Oprah or  Ellen (ugh), but now, when done properly, almost as many eyeballs can see the local morning news show.

The other example is the migration of newspapers to the web and their dwindling staffs. On the surface it is a tough situation, but the upside is the fact that the newspapers' websites increase the likelihood of coverage, and that most newspapers are willing to accept photos and video from third parties (that means us) when the story is interesting and strikes a local chord.

Developing relationships with the web editors and bloggers at newspapers can greatly enhance your coverage opportunities. These departments at media outlets are still small and trying to catch-up to the digital media age we now live in, so they are often open to the help of PR people to build their content.

John Maroon is president of Maroon PR.

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