By: Nikki Hernon D’Aleo
There’s just something better about the tomatoes you find at the farmer’s market. They’re juicier and sweeter than those found at the grocery store. It makes good sense, too. The local tomato doesn’t have to travel across the country to get to your caprese salad. And the same goes for that locally-sourced, farm-to-table meal. It’s infinitely more delectable than the frozen-then-reheated menu selections offered by a chain restaurant. The key ingredient? Local.
Around the country, small businesses rally together under the “Think Local First” flag to remind their friends and neighbors to consider supporting and patronizing their local stores, restaurants, coffee houses, plumbing shops – you name it. When residents support their communities, everyone wins.
When it comes to public relations, businesses and organizations can benefit from keeping it local, too. By welcoming local PR representation into the fold, they find a homegrown partner invested in their target market, connected to community influencers and familiar with the lay of the land.
Your local PR team is only in business because it has successfully built and maintained long-standing relationships with the media in their market. A local PR team is well-attuned to what news residents are consuming and what stories journalists want to hear about. This enables them to take your news and mine for the story angle relevant to the local market. They also know the needs of the media. Perhaps the local print weekly is a bit understaffed, as is unfortunately becoming the norm. It might not have a reporter available to cover your story, so your publicist might recommend packaging up some sharply-written, well-researched content that an editor can run as-is. They know the nuances and realities and can meet the media right where they are – to the benefit of your business or organization.
Roots Run Deep
Public relations pros spend years building relationships with their local media counterparts, earning their worth as the local go-to resource for experts and stories. Beyond their media connections, the local agency in your target market has established deep community relations. They’re connected to the movers and shakers, from the business owners, non-profit leaders and elected officials to the philanthropists, PTA presidents, and micro-influencers. A local agency knows how to connect the right people together. ln particular, public relations agencies with a deep and diverse client roster provide a unique perspective, because of their experience in a variety of industries and sectors.
Boots on the Ground
There’s also a practical angle at play when communications teams lean on a local public relations agency to help manage efforts in a smaller, more focused market. Very simply—but very importantly—the local public relations professional can be nimble and agile when responding to media and community relations needs. An American company expanding into London might enlist the help of a British public relations agency. On a smaller scale, a New York City non-profit looking to extend its reach out of the five boroughs could consider engaging a PR firm in Westchester County. It’s much easier to turn to a local public relations agency instead of flying to the United Kingdom or schlepping upstate on Metro North Railroad to manage an event or respond to a last-minute media request. Facetime is not just about iPhones – media, clients and stakeholders need some in-person attention, too.
So whether you’re picking tomatoes or PR partners, think local first.