Local Media Relations in the Age of Facebook

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Media relations used to be the only way to get news coverage and earned media for brands and companies, but today more consumers are getting their news through new media channels, especially social media. This challenges traditional media relations to evolve and public relations professionals to understand the best ways to reach our client’s audiences.

Traditional media relations is not dead, especially on a local level, and our partners at Bliss Integrated Communication outlined the steps communications agencies can take to build relationships with local press on their blog. Vice President Keri Toomey talks about a professor she had who said local newspapers will never die because people will always want to see pictures of their kids in the newspaper, and Andy Yost, chief marketing officer at USA Today Network, said local newspapers were “Facebook before Facebook.”

Toomey went on to note that while circulation has been declining and there are almost half the number of local journalists compared to 1990, readership is still there. Local news is a primary source for political information for Americans eligible to vote. She describes hyperlocal news outlets, which focus on specific neighborhoods and blocks in a city, and sometimes only focus on certain topics. For example, Charlottesville Tomorrow only focuses on land use, education and public policy, which means they don’t even cover crime or car accidents.

Toomey says that it’s important to remember the local angle and impact of your news story to ensure it relates to the community you’re pitching to, as well as having a local spokesperson who can provide local insights on the community happenings. Finish reading Keri’s blog post about local media relations on Bliss’s website.

Bliss Integrated Communication is an award-winning strategic marketing and communication firm located in New York. With expertise in B2B public relations strategy and execution, they work to extend client visibility and reputation to meet their business needs.

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