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Leveraging local media

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Photo Credit: Flash.pro, Flickr.

By Bob McCann
March 25, 2014
Filed under Features, Top Stories

According to a recent Cross-Platform Report from Nielson, the average American adult spends 11 hours a day consuming electronic media, with TV and radio continuing to claim the top spots — that’s nearly all of our waking hours!

While advertising on these platforms can quickly exhaust your marketing budget, a smart online media strategy can help you gain a little free exposure with your local TV and radio stations on-air and on their online and social media channels.

Get Social

Most local network affiliates have a massive following, for example, the Milwaukee NBC affiliate has more than 124,000 Facebook followers. One social share from a news outlet like this has the power to give your dealership a large boost in social exposure.

Follow these tips to maximize your social relationships with local media:

  • Follow your local TV and radio stations on all of your social media channels.
  • Share and retweet social content posted by local media that is relevant to your audience.
  • Use that relevant content as a launching point for your next blog post. Link back to the news story on the station’s website in the post, then share your post on your social media channels and tag the station.

Highlight Upcoming Events

As people make their weekend plans, they oftentimes rely on the online and on-air events information shared by their favorite media outlets. Getting your event mentioned is a great first step, getting live local media coverage at your event is even better.

  • Have a hook – What makes your event stand apart? Celebrity appearances, a new product showcase, giveaways and even free food may be enough to get you coverage.
  • Send a press release – Now that you’ve determined what makes your event unique, you need to share the scoop with local news organizations. Most stations have a full list of contact emails and phone numbers available on their website, but you should always call to ensure you’re sending your press release to the proper contact and follow up personally to confirm your contact has received your release. Don’t be too aggressive — your goal is to make a friend who wants to help you spread the news!
  • Invite media personalities to join in on the fun – Is there a DJ who can’t stop talking about fishing or a meteorologist who is known for delivering the forecast on location? Send them a personal invite to headline your event: sincere flattery might just score you some airtime and an influential ally.

Be a Thought Leader

Here’s where having an established blog could come in really handy. Not only does blogging help you rank higher in search, but the rich content you create will establish you as a local marine expert, making you an ideal guest on local TV and radio stations.

Leverage the relationships you’ve built through your event PR efforts to pitch story ideas that will engage the station’s audience, while promoting the boating lifestyle. While every story idea might not connect, your persistence will pay off over time. Who better to share Memorial Day boating safety tips or to help preview the local boat show than the area’s foremost marine expert?

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