A lot of people in business or in charities or even working from their bedrooms don’t consider the value of their local media. In fact, many rarely know very little about what local media even means these days.

Yet most sensible business owners would jump at the chance of editorial (free) coverage, they want coverage – yet make no effort whatsoever to engage with the local media.

Yet there are news outlets in every community which need stories and want to feature people – occasionally in return for payment (ie. advertorial) and for some organisations it’s a credible and valuable route to market.

 

Local media these days includes:

*Newspapers – weekly or daily, free or paid for. In my area, we have the Swindon Advertiser, The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald, The Wiltshire Times & The Wilts & Glos Standard which share local news, sport, weather, travel, jobs, events and business news.

 

*Magazines – sector specific or county wide or hobby specific.  Locally, focusing on our county, we have:  Wiltshire Life; Your Wiltshire, Wiltshire Living and Salisbury Life Magazine, among them.  There is also Ridgeway Rider Magazine, which not surprisingly is packed with articles, events and features about horses – which you would expect in a rural county. There is also, The Business Exchange, Swindon and Wiltshire which covers business stories and news information. Most areas have similar magazines on offer.

 

*Parish pump magazines – community magazines which tend to be uber local and monthly or bi-monthly. Most areas have them and they come in various guises. Some contain adverts for local businesses, some contain information about events, and local news, including contact details for local libraries, doctors and other important information. These are great magazines when people move to a new area. These often sit on people’s coffee tables until the next one comes around and they are free to the reader.

 

*Community radio – there are more than 200 stations in the UK, and may be several hubs in a county. These are very much area specific, serving local communities and bringing people together.  However, they have strict funding stipulations. They are not allowed to raise more than 50% of their operating costs from a single source, including on-air sponsorship or advertising. Therefore, they have to find other sources, such as public funding grants, National Lottery funding and charities. Also, they heavily rely on volunteers to run the stations. Swindon 105.5 is one of the community radios in Wiltshire and it’s a hugely valuable local resource.

 

*Community tv – some bigger urban areas and counties have community tv stations. The Local TV Network operates local news video services on Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media, online and social media in Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol, Cardiff, Leeds, Liverpool, North Wales, Teesside and Tyne & Wear. Could you engage with these?

 

*Online news services – both community-led and sector specific.  If you search online in your local area, you’ll be able to find the online news services that would work for you. Many of the local newspapers also have online versions too. Total Guide Swindon is one such online service, which I write for, and which regularly share articles about local businesses. They also have Total Guide outlets in other areas of the UK too.

 

*Bloggers – local writers who chart and follow community news and events.  Local bloggers are often looking for people to interview, so they can write about you, your event or your business in their blog. Search online for bloggers who write about the things that interest you, or those who you think would interested in hearing your story.

 

*Podcasters – as above but more ‘radio’ presenters. This can capture people’s personality more easily, because you are interviewed and recorded. Podcasts have become incredibly popular – the latest data shows there are currently over 950,000 podcasts and 30 million episodes available. There will be someone out there who will be interested in talking to you. My own podcast ‘PR not BS’ is gaining followers, and I’ve had 1,457 downloads since it began not quite a year ago.

 

*YouTubers – might be local or covering a specific area of interest.  As I can attest, having a YouTube channel is great for getting you ‘out there’. Steve, my husband and I run one all about our caravan journeys and experiences, and we have, over three years, and with 148 films, amassed 100,00 views! So, this could be something you might like to do, or again, be interviewed for someone’s YouTube channel.

 

*Other influencers – check out people who are talking about things you are interested in, or businesses in your profession. Local influencers on Tik Tok, Instagram etc.

 

 

You need to start to follow people, who an interest in their blogs/posts etc, rather than just expect to get invited on to their platform. Build a relationship.

If you want to get a clearer picture of the modern media – you can join me to get those practical tip on Wednesday November 9th in the Cotswolds. This is my last face-to-face training event of 2022.

 

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/powerful-pr-planning-for-2023-tickets-390450045597