By Luke Bull

B2B media relations will get you seen by the businesses that matter – but companies should realise the importance of getting coverage locally as well.

The benefits of knowing how to promote your business locally are myriad. It boosts your reputation, helps keep employees happy and aids recruitment, for starters.

A simple press release sent to the local newspaper and radio station a few times a year helps improve your firm’s standing in the local community.

That kind of consumer B2B communications also reminds your clients, and your competitors, that you’re there.

Half the battle is spotting what makes a local news story that will get media coverage.

Simple B2B marketing

The technical ins and outs that would be central to an interesting story for the trade press won’t grab the attention of a hard-pressed local newspaper reporter. This isn’t pure and simple B2B marketing – it’s about engaging with the people who live and work in the area where your company is based.

Local news is more about the success story you’d tell your neighbour in the driveway or natter about with your mates in the pub.

When considering how to promote your business locally, first think of the benefits of having a good reputation in the area where you are based. This is the place where the core messages in your press releases will spring from.

A business functions best with motivated people at its heart and it’s good for staff morale that they see themselves and their employer in the local press.

It’s also good for workers and other locals to see how well the firm is performing, the investments you are making in the site, and the backing you give local charities. That kind of activity helps with staff retention, loyalty and recruitment.

The recruitment aspect is particularly important for firms with a provincial base. It can be difficult to encourage people to move away from the big cities to outlying areas to work for such a firm.

A good reputation

You’ve got to find a way of keeping hold of the best local workers by fostering a good reputation.

It’s also important in demonstrating to locals that they don’t have to move away to have a good career – there are great opportunities on their doorstep.

Promoting your graduate schemes and the successes of apprentices is a great thing to do in these kinds of circumstances.

It’s also important to let people know about your successes in regional and sector business awards, something that’s central to B2B public relations strategies.

Whether you’re nominated or win one, it demonstrates you are doing things right. A good picture will make it an easy story for the local newspaper to cover.

And the charity efforts of your staff – particularly if you’re contributing to them – are a great way to secure local media coverage.

Your firm's commitment

A press release on that kind of topic demonstrates your firm’s commitment to being part of your community.

Then there are things that seem obvious, but which businesses sometimes fail to recognise.

If you are investing £1 million in new plant or facilities and taking on new staff, that’s a good local story. If you win a big contract that protects jobs or means you’ll need more staff, that’s a good local story too.

Remember: good local news stories are simple tales of success and hard work.

And if you have fostered a good relationship with the local paper, you will get more understanding media coverage in the bad times.


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