Local journalism is in a time of great transition. Google local news, and you’ll see thousands of stories about the current struggles of outlets both large and small in an era of social media, reduced profitability and staff cuts. People have dramatically shifted the way they get their news in the last decade, and local media is trying to figure out how to keep up.
At the same time, however, the cries that local journalism is dead are premature, as they are a not only a critical part of the fourth estate to ensure checks on local government, but local outlets also continue to be a valuable tool to get your message to the public.
Local journalism—radio, print, and television are key tools to help you better tell your story, reach your audience, and compliment your social media and internet presence. A good local news story shared on your feed, an event invite in the paper along with a Facebook invite, or a compelling interview that adds context to a public policy issue are all ways that traditional, local media can enhance your story.
Building relationships with reporters on issues that impact your community, your customers or your audience also means that over time, it may be easier to get your story to the public in a favorable light. Plus, while many outlets are struggling with profitability right now, they are also arguably reaching larger audiences than ever, as their content is shared and accessible around the world.
Furthermore, the current state of local journalism provides a real opportunity to craft your narrative for local news and reach a targeted audience. For example, with limited staff at many local newspapers, they are often looking for content. Crafting columns, event notices and press release customized for local papers can give you a better chance to get coverage, tell your story, and reach a sizeable audience.
While there are important conversations happening on how to fund and protect quality journalism in our communities as public news consumption shifts in the digital age, there also continues to be real opportunities to utilize local outlets to tell your story and create a compelling narrative for your brand, your issue or your organization.
People want to feel connected to their community, so connecting with them in their community should be a key part of any media plan.