If you need local publicity, and you live in one of 19 states in the United States, or the District of Columbia, Patch.com is almost begging for your pitch.
A memo from Patch editor-in-chief Brian Farnham outlines a plan to increase traffic by increasing article production.
Patch currently requires every site to post a minimum of four times per day, but many are not. Hence, the memo.
Patch covers California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.
It loves news about new businesses, community events, local government, crime, items for the events calendar, columns from local residents and government officials, news tips, and the all-important and often overlooked photos and videos.
This is the perfect time to pitch Patch for another reason. AOL Inc, which owns Patch, is launching 33 sites in New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina, key states that play an early role in the U.S. presidential election.
How to Pitch Patch
- Build a relationship with Patch writers and editors. Spend time at the Patch site for your community, and identify who is responsible for your local news. The editor’s name and email address is under the logo at the top of the page.
- Email the editor and ask questions. I’ve found Patch writers to be incredibly helpful and friendly.
- Many Patch writers are former journalists. And all journalists love to report news first. Keep Patch in mind when hear a newsy item about something in your community.
- Add Patch to your media database. Every time you write a press release, ask if the content is something that Patch would like.
- Is your business doing something new? It’s much easier to get business stories onto Patch than it is to get your story told in your local business journal, which usually requires multiple sources.
- Don’t forget about stand-alone photos with captions, and video. (See How to Use Photos & Graphics in a Publicity Campaign)
One of the other reasons Patch is such a super tool in a publicity campaign is because people can sign up for the Patch newsletter in their community, and receive email alerts. I’ll often stop what I’m doing when I see the Port Washington/Saukville (Wisconsin) newsletter arrive in my Inbox.
What kind of publicity have you gotten from Patch? Do you have any pitching tips to add to my list?