Hyperlocal news platforms may not have the wide impact of, say, the Wall Street Journal, but they do offer your brand the opportunity to connect with individual communities.
And pitching hyperlocal reporters can be a straight-ahead process; typically they aren’t hamstrung by topical beats.
While Patch is probably the best-known hyperlocal media platform, there are others, including Examiner.com and Everyblock.com.
Here are seven tips for getting hyperlocal coverage for your brand:
Take a swing at the full story yourself: The more complete you can make the article, the less work reporters have to do and the more likely it will be placed. Browse existing story formats and emulate them.
Consider turnaround time: Online news quickly metabolizes. Provide direct phone numbers for contacts and package stories to move quickly.
Understand the geography: Only pitch the reporters who truly serve the area your story pertains to. A "spray and pray" method of pitching hyperlocal editors across several areas may only ruin your credibility and future chances of landing a relevant story.
Load up on content: Providing visuals and videos can make the difference. Most of the stories on Patch contain a photo gallery.
Keep current: Check the hyperlocal sites often; staff turns over fast and you need to keep your contacts up to date.
Map it out: Every story on Patch.com includes a map from OpenStreetMap. Find ways to anchor your story in the local area.
Plug into the network: If you're routinely pitching stories in the same areas, be sure to plug into the network and frequently comment on stories.
Follow Bill Miltenberg: @bmiltenberg