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Henry Stimpson’s PR and Marketing Tips
Fall 2007

Getting Local—How to Get Ink in Weekly Newspapers

Coverage in hometown newspapers can be very valuable. Local papers, typically published weekly, are well read in their communities and can give you great recognition in your community. Their circulations may be modest, but they’re read cover-to-cover.

Here are some tips on how they work and how you can get your stories in them.

Weeklies are interested in almost everything in their geographic area and nothing outside it. All community weeklies cover a well-defined geographic area. It may be one town, two or three towns, or a county. They’re hungry for just about all news in their area—no matter how trivial it may seem. Conversely, they have absolutely no interest in anything outside their borders—no matter how momentous it is.

Let’s say Jane Howe, a lawyer with Dewey, Cheatem & Howe in Podunk is named Lawyer of the Year by the local bar association. When you send a press release to the “Podunk Town Crier,” make sure you lead with the fact that the firm is located in Podunk. Howe lives in Pottstown. Your release to the “Pottstown Gazette” must lead off with her Pottstown residence.

No local angle, no story. It’s that simple.

New hires, promotions, awards, honors, degrees, new local offices, events, anniversaries, new businesses, new services are all used by local papers. Be sure to include a photo with the story.

Do local newspapers use bylined articles from local experts? Many don’t. But some do publish articles by local businesspeople and professionals—whether the article is on personal finance, healthcare, childrearing or whatever. It never hurts to ask the editor if he or she would like to receive a noncommercial advice article. But always ask before you write.

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