Leveraging Local Media-Using PR To “Own Your Own Backyard.”

Leveraging Local Media-Using PR To “Own Your Own Backyard.”

Nancy Trent

 




Local publicity sells and now more than ever, it is extremely important to effectively market your brand to local media. Building relationships with media in your region can help turn you into a local “media darling,” someone journalists can count on, and members love. Becoming a media darling will result in increased brand awareness, but becoming a local media darling will mean a better bottom line for your business.

When it comes to marketing in these exciting times of growth and increasing competition, efforts should be predominantly focused on generating awareness, enhancing your reputation and building credibility – all to help boost sales by getting your brand mentioned for free in magazines, on TV and radio shows, in newspapers, on websites and blogs.

Brands must be sure to put an emphasis on “sell through PR” – publicity that drives sales as opposed to “vanity PR,” – publicity that drives people to recognize your company. Brands that focus on helping retailers market their products regionally and locally will ultimately sell more.

As a local business operator, you are already paying attention to your local news, politics, sports, tourism, members affairs, businesses and campuses, and so are people in your community. People are still reading their local newspapers. In fact, not only are they reading articles— they are saving them, forwarding them and reposting them. If your products, services or expertise are featured in a local newspaper, you should be prepared for people to find you – with an increase in sales too.

As a PR-savvy business operator, you should strive to be a part of your community and engage with your potential customers. By getting involved in local events, providing giveaways, and building relationships with news personalities, including newspaper reporters, weekly magazine editors, city guide writers and morning radio DJs, you’ll form relationships that can result in important publicity. Contact your tourism bureau, local chamber of commerce, universities and corporations. See if there are any opportunities to sample or sell products at events that may already be going on. You will be considered an integral member of the community, and you will further establish your business place as a valuable venue.

There are a number of PR tactics you can use to earn the trust of local residents and keep your business on their radar screens. Speaking with other business owners who are well-known in their communities is a great way to learn more about boosting your local profile.

Sometimes you will find that generating a local buzz is as easy as capitalizing on national buzz. Trends start nationally and trickle down regionally, so it is important to pay attention to what is going on at the national level. When something is hot on the national level, you start to see it on the local level. When a food, beauty, wellness or design trend is hot, it saturates those media outlets and people come in because they heard about it. You want journalists to come into your facility to ask what’s new. They are out there to cover a story and want to know what’s selling.

Gyms can also adapt their vendors’ national campaigns on a regional level. A brand should encourage its vendors to extend its national campaign to the store level by reaching out to media and influencers within each community.

When it comes to retail, the consensus is that promotions are the best way to drive local traffic and press. People love deals and trials. It builds trust.

Consumers are always hungry for knowledge, particularly when it comes to discovering the finest products available. Whenever a health-related issue makes headlines, members are on the lookout for new and innovative solutions inspired by media coverage. Heath and fitness trends have always made news.

In the world of consumer fitness, there’s a fantastic opportunity to educate consumers, just as you would your sales staff. Encourage your brand’s experts to share their insights with consumers and provide valuable education. Promoting educational seminars and product demonstrations on popular talk or news TV shows, local drive-time radio programs, and lunchtime radio broadcasts can be remarkably effective in reaching your target audience.

The introduction of spokespeople who are recognized in the industry can take the consumer experience to the next level. Your target audience, often interested in healthy stylish living, is seeking information on how to improve their well-being. By offering a multi-faceted approach to your brand, you can keep it at the forefront of the consumer’s mind.

As a brand operator it’s also advantageous to make yourself and your products and services accessible to media outlets in where you have locations. Consider visiting local markets to feature in seasonal segments on local morning TV shows. Attend various events and trade shows across the country, where you can showcase your products and engage with news anchors. This exposure can lead viewers to explore and consider purchasing your products. Take advantage of new memberships and programs being introduced. Take note of trends that may be developing within your brand.

Gyms take note: Here are some ways to mobilize your vendors to garner publicity in your region:

• Product Demonstrations: Collaborate with vendors to organize product demos, sessions, or events showcasing your goods. Consider partnering with businesses that align with your brand or relevant charitable organizations. You can leverage your in-house experts or even invite retail partners to share their insights. These events will transform a retail space into a hub for media attention.

• Reprints and Highlights: If your vendors and trainers are featured in a magazine or publication, prominently feature the article in strategic locations within the retail space where customers cannot overlook it. If the article has received national recognition, ensure it is distributed to local media outlets to inform their readers that this celebrated national trend is now accessible locally through your products.

• In-House Experts: Empower your staff as local authorities, offering them as valuable resources for media opportunities in your community.

• Co-Promotions: Establish collaborative initiatives with membership club promoters to secure local and national media coverage for your consumer packaged goods. These strategic partnerships can bring significant attention to your products and brand, increasing visibility among your target audience.

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Nancy Trent is a writer and speaker, a lifelong wellness activist, a globe-trotting trend watcher, and the founder and president of Trent & Company, the leading wellness PR firm. Trent & Company, which launched many health and beauty brands, grew out of Nancy’s personal and passionate commitment to helping people live longer and healthier lives. A former journalist for New York magazine, Nancy has written seven books on healthy lifestyles, serves on the editorial boards of several magazines and travels around the world speaking at conferences and trade shows on trends in the marketplace. She is a recognized expert in PR with more than 30 years of experience creating and managing highly successful campaigns.
Nancy Trent is a writer and speaker, a lifelong wellness activist, a globe-trotting trend watcher, and the founder and president of Trent & Company, the leading wellness PR firm. Trent & Company, which launched many health and beauty brands, grew out of Nancy’s personal and passionate commitment to helping people live longer and healthier lives. A former journalist for New York magazine, Nancy has written seven books on healthy lifestyles, serves on the editorial boards of several magazines and travels around the world speaking at conferences and trade shows on trends in the marketplace. She is a recognized expert in PR with more than 30 years of experience creating and managing highly successful campaigns.