Ways to Position National Media for Local Coverage

Adapting National Media for Local Coverage

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PR pros typically dream of a local story they are pitching makes national news. However, it is much more common that the opposite occurs. In these instances, public relations specialists must think creatively for ways to add a local twist that will resonate with audiences.

Nuffer, Smith, Tucker Public Relations was tasked with this challenge when San Diego County McDonald’s restaurants sought to conduct media outreach for the launch of the Snoopy NASA Happy Meal books and toys.

NST used several tactics to adapt this national story in the San Diego market and offer a useful model for others.

Localize the Story

Before drafting a pitch, carefully consider how the national story relates to your local market. Why should they care? Will it have an impact on the local community? Highlight these components in your pitch. After addressing the local community members, shift your attention to the local media outlets. Make a case for why they should care and how it can be used. For NST, the McDonald’s Happy Meal book came in both English and Spanish. Because of this, they targeted both English and Spanish speaking media outlets with this message.

Partner with Local Organizations

Gaining traction with a story alone can be challenging. By partnering with other local organizations, you can gain support for amplifying the story and get other ideas about its local impact. For example, NST partnered with Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego and the San Diego Air & Space Museum. Both organizations donated 300 books for the cause.

Offer High-Quality Content

Media outlets are more likely to cover a story that is supported by quality content. Investing in visuals can help create a more engaging story and also illustrate the messaging more clearly. In their efforts with the McDonald’s Happy Meal launch, NST secured coverage at a book reading hosted by the San Diego Air & Space Museum. This imagery from the event added value to the media coverage, and also highlighted the local partnership.

Want more insights on how to make a national media story work on a local level? Read the full blog post from Nuffer, Smith, Tucker Public Relations.


Nuffer, Smith, Tucker is an independent public relations agency in San Diego, California. A diverse team dedicated to pushing themselves, the industry and their clients forward, it offers communication and strategic planning services as well as in-house graphics, website and interactive capabilities.

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