The Comeback of Local PR
The idea of “local” has been on my mind a lot lately. Businesses and communities that serve local needs seem to be popping up everywhere. From the recent IPO of local review site Yelp, to Google pursuing local search marketing, and more and more restaurants and grocery stores promoting local food – local is making a comeback. We’re also seeing an increased interest in local public relations campaigns, not necessarily moving away from the national focus, but complementing and supporting it.
When done right, local PR is a beautiful thing. It takes advantage of all the great work a firm is doing on a national level, and leverages it for the local offices without having to reinvent the wheel. Like Yelp or Google local search marketing, it uses the same framework and building blocks, but inserts customized messages for each market. The overall messages are nationally approved so the firm presents a unified voice across the country, while still promoting local spokespeople in key offices and gaining local media attention (i.e. Business Journals, Crain’s, local daily papers, radio and TV stations). We’ve found that this unified voice helps with both internal and external communication.
For large national organizations, or even mid-sized companies with several offices around the country, replicating a nationally driven program across each office can be an effective media strategy to boost awareness of the firm and its local executives within the local community where they do business every day. This type of program also reduces costs, given that the content creation is happening on a national level.
A nationally sanctioned local PR program isn’t just a one way street. Often, some of the best national marketing strategies and thought leadership ideas emerge from the trends and conversations going on in the local markets. Our monthly PR calls with the local offices of a national client provide invaluable intel that has supported and strengthened the national programs for that client.
So how do you go about creating a nationally sanctioned local PR program, and what are the best practices? Stay tuned for the next post in this local series to answer those and more local PR questions.
Have you worked on a local b2b marketing strategy, or been a part of a local PR program? Please share your ideas and experiences in the comment section below.
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