Regional press – the (sometimes) forgotten hero

Posted on: August 20th, 2009

It’s not wise to have a narrow view of the media (or anything for that matter!). While glossy magazines and metro newspapers are big alluring publicity targets, they’re not the be all and end all. So give some thorough consideration to the unsung hero that is regional press.

As Rural Press states on its website: “Regional newspapers have unique properties in terms of reach and acceptance in the market, making regional newspapers the most personal medium of all. The desire to be kept informed on local issues is reflected in the 4.8 million regional Australians who read a regional newspaper each week.”

It may not be as sexy as a double page spread in Vogue, but this often overlooked channel holds gems of publicity opportunities that can add value to a PR campaign for numerous reasons:

  • Relevance – by tailoring stories to local areas, readers get a more specific story that matters to them. This isn’t always easy to do, especially if you have a national or international brand, but using local spokespeople, issues or statistics will help readers relate to the product/service.
  • Breadth – regional papers usually offer a better sized article with more information and a greater likelihood of a picture. This of course depends again on the relevance of the story (and other competing factors), but regional newspapers have been known to print whole press releases verbatim if it’s right for their audience.
  • Reach – with a newsworthy on-target press release, you could see your story being syndicated across other newspapers within one publishing group. That’s a great way to increase your exposure without having to tweak the press release multiple times for specific locations.

Had any great experiences with regional press? Please share them!

Posted by Helen Lear

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2 Responses

  1. Becci says:

    Agree 100% that regional press can be very powerful. However, we’ve stumbled across roadblocks when pitching to local papers on behalf of brands even if the story is locally relevant – i.e. activity that the local store/organisation office is doing.

    Think consideration also needs to go into how the story is positioned and that it has to be seen to benefit the local community in some way – the brand references have to be secondary. The phrase ‘too commercial’ rings very loudly in our ears when speaking to regional media contacts.

    There is also risk in this approach that the brand/organisation is subbed out of the article as they are not the key focus – another incident that we’ve come across on more than on occassion.

    Becci

  2. Helen Lear says:

    Hi Becci

    Thanks for your comments, which I totally agree with.

    We have experienced situations before with clients whose product/brand names have been substituted for generic ones, which is always frustrating. However, there is also the view that any publicity around a certain product raises awareness for all brands involved.

    Helen

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