How to achieve local media coverage

By Sally Learmouth on November 18th, 2022

Sally Learmouth, MD of Gloss Communications

Coverage in local newspapers, magazines, websites, and on TV and radio is an invaluable addition to your social media strategy. But how can you get your local media to talk about you?

Get to know what’s out there

This means reading or listening to each outlet yourself – find out what sort of stories they cover, and who looks after which section, so that you can approach the right contact with your idea. For example, you’ll want to put a slightly different angle on a story depending on whether you’re pitching to a beauty section or a news section. The latter might cover an award win, but a beauty section might only mention an award win in the context of a beauty trend feature. Find out about what interests each journalist by following them on social media – this will often give you extra insight into whether they have a strong interest in specific charities, or maybe they like stories about small business owners, or have an issue with their own hair/skin/nails that you can solve.

Prepare your materials

The best way to approach a journalist is with some written background on your business that includes your history and ethos, USPs, address and contact details. Also have a pitch to send to them about the specific story you’d like them to cover, which might be a new launch, an award win or a charity event. Email is often the best way to contact them and a strong written story that they can read when they’re not on deadline is the most useful approach.

Why is your story relevant?

You need to have a strong angle for local media to cover you, and remember that there’s a difference between an editorial interest story and a promotion, for which most titles will suggest you take an advert out. So offering a half price cut with every colour booked isn’t a story, but offering seasonal hair styling or care advice is. Ask yourself if the story is really interesting to the public or if it’s a sales promotion.

What makes a good story?

  • Award wins
  • Charity-related stories, especially if there’s a local interest angle
  • Expert tips – this could be speaking as an expert on care or trends
  • Competitions
  • USPs – what are you doing that’s different to other businesses? Are you the first/only person in the area/country to do something?
  • React to global, national or local events or news stories by offering yourself as a local example, eg, small businesses affected by fiscal changes
  • Some titles will only cover you if you pay for advertising, but it can be in your interest to cultivate a business relationship such as advertising in Christmas specials or taking part in initiatives that publications are running to support them, in exchange for editorial support for your relevant stories.

Want to send in a question on PR? Message @glosscommspr or @salongoldinsurance

Sally Learmouth

Sally is the founder of Gloss Communications which specialises in lifestyle public relations, from traditional PR across print, online and television, through to influencers and social media management, events and copywriting. Since 2005, Gloss has created hugely successful PR campaigns. Having created successful campaigns for Jack Howard, Luke Benson, Jamie Stevens, Errol Douglas, Karine Jackson, Cally Borg, Tina Hollis, Christopher Appleton, O&M, Nine Yards, Authentic Beauty Concept, Trevor Sorbie and more.

All articles by Sally Learmouth

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