Since the Internet revolution, the term ‘local business’ has become something of a misnomer, with the Internet, emails and now social networks making companies the other side of the world appear ‘local’. Great as this is, and it is, businesses should never forget the value of local pr. In Sussex for nearly 30 years, we have established connections with our local community, identifying opportunities for local pr in East and West Sussex, working with clients in Eastbourne, Hailsham, Hastings, Horsham and Brighton.
The key is to know your surroundings. Local PR is about reaching out to the community, establishing relations and ultimately securing sales due to word of mouth recommendations, reputations and awareness. For PR in Sussex to work you need to tap into what is happening, where and who is attending. If you hit all three strongly enough you are sure to receive the media coverage you desire.
There are two avenues for local pr in Sussex; press relations and public relations.
Press relations – How to get the press interested
Local reporters are pushed for time now more than ever due to staff shortages, so it is difficult to get them to attend any events, although free food and champagne helps. A well-written pre-event press release followed by a post-event press release accompanied by photographs should do the trick, and be appreciated by busy reporters trying to fill a paper. The value of your company news appearing in print is vast as local communities still value their local newspapers.
Make it appealing for television and radio
Television and radio has credibility for consumers. Local broadcasters are targeting local communities and, therefore, if a story is appealing to your town or village it stands a good chance of being picked up by broadcasters. Television broadcasters are looking for something visually pleasing and both radio and television journalists want interviews with key spokespeople.
The celebrity clincher
For all media outlets, local celebrities are a great selling point, especially if they are doing something quirky or have a tie with the organisation or locale. MPs and politicians with an issue can also make a story more newsworthy.
PRG employed all these angles when organising AGE Concern Eastbourne’s 65th Birthday celebrations by utilising local links to secure EastEnders and Gavin and Stacey star, Larry Lamb, and his son, television presenter George Lamb, along with Eastbourne’s MP and Deputy Mayor. The result was pre and post event coverage in local newspapers and radio, coverage on regional television news after the event and a fantastic turnout for the birthday party.
Another successful Eastbourne pr campaign was when PRG enrolled the assistance of local celebrity Michael Fish soaking in a warm bath of bubbles, surrounded by a garland of sunflowers and four council leaders, to help launch a solar energy marketing campaign for East Sussex Energy Partnership. It achieved widespread media coverage and exceeded the Partnerships’ sales targets for solar energy grants, resulting in national coverage and regional newspaper and radio coverage worth a value of more than £43,300 and the installation of 132 solar panels worth an estimated £528,000.
Never forget the value of successful local PR in Sussex. Where else are your public relations more important than on your doorstep?