Earning media coverage in your hometown news outlets is a great way to raise awareness for your business, cause, or event. Local news stations and newspapers are always looking for stories that engage their viewers and readers. With the right pitch and approach, you can become the subject of their next feature story. Here are four tips to get your story covered in the Southampton, NY local news and other local media.
Local news outlets are only interested in stories that impact their viewers or fill a need. Your story must be relevant to local issues or events, contain drama or emotion, highlight amazing achievements, or be part of an important milestone or anniversary. Ask yourself why an audience would care about this story and how it may affect or interest them. If you struggle to come up with strong reasons, the media may pass them over for more compelling stories.
Take time to research the reporters who cover news and events relevant to your pitch. Follow them on social media, comment on their stories, and send an introductory email expressing your interest in being a source for future articles. When you have a story idea to pitch, a reporter who is already familiar with you will be more likely to give it consideration. Nurturing genuine relationships with key media members will make it much easier to earn coverage when the time comes.
Reporters get many story pitches on a daily basis, so yours must grab their interest immediately. Your pitch should summarize your key message or story angle in 1 or 2 sentences at most. Outline why this story would resonate with their audience and what makes it exciting or impactful. Mention any local people involved in or connected to your story. Provide bullet points highlighting the most interesting story elements to demonstrate how much coverage potential it offers. Close by requesting an in-person interview and offering to provide any additional details or content to support the story such as photos, videos, statistics, or contacting others for quotes.
If a reporter shows interest in your pitch and requests an interview, be prepared to provide any information or materials to support the story. Show up on time for in-person interviews and have:
- Facts, statistics, examples, anecdotes, and quotes ready to bring the story to life
- A list of potential contacts for additional interviews to offer the reporter.
- Professionally shot photos, video footage, or infographics to supply the story.
- Your company or organization’s background, mission, and key milestones to establish context.
- Upcoming events, initiatives, or announcements to highlight at the end of the interview.
The easier you make the reporter’s job, the more likely your story will get media coverage. Offer concrete details, suggest supplementary content, be concise in your answers, and always tie information back to why this story matters to viewers and readers. Stay in contact after the interview in case any follow-up is needed. With an impactful story, strong pitch, and helpful resources for the reporter, you can earn a feature in the Southampton, NY local news and prominently display it on your website and social media.
Continually focusing on relationships, relevance, and resources will make generating publicity through your hometown news media an ongoing success. Reporters and editors come to depend on and value certain sources for important news coverage. Make it a priority to become one of those go-to sources in your local community. Consistently provide value and your stories are sure to be highlights of the daily news cycle time and time again.