When news breaks internationally, nationally or regionally, and you tie into the story in some way, pitch “the local angle” to local bloggers, local weekly and daily newspapers, local TV newsrooms, even local radio.
If you’re in one of the 22 states served by Patch.com, the uber-local website, or if you live in the District of Columbus, Patch editors might love your story. Update: After AOL sold Patch, about three-fourths of its staff has been laid off.
Here are nine examples of how to tie your local story to the much bigger story, particularly when news is breaking. Media are ALWAYS looking for the local angle. Most of the ideas below link to other posts at this blog where you’ll find dozens more ideas.
1. Pitch stories on unusual ways people are selling their houses.
In Salem, Mass., buyers and sellers, worried about bad vibes from foreclosed homes, are turning to witches, feng shui consultants, psychics and priests to perform the ancient tradition known as the house cleansing.
Desperate homeowners and even real estate agents in other parts of the U.S. are burying St. Joseph statues in hopes of selling their homes.
2. Pitch construction stories.
Residential and commercial construction projects aren’t the norm these days, so if you’re starting one, that’s news that can tie into the bigger slump in construction.
3. Tie your story into the weather.
The sweltering heat wave and drought that have gripped much of the U.S. presents opportunities galore for local publicity.
The Katie Holmes-Tom Cruise divorce is perfect for divorce lawyers and even financial planners who have something interesting to add to the conversation.
So was the Tiger Woods mess. I came up with 10 story ideas that could have been pitched.
Don’t forget about Alec Baldwin’s next rant, and other celebrities behaving badly. Update: Also see the article I wrote for Entrepreneur.com on how to piggyback onto celebrity gossip and problems.
5. Join the controversy surrounding Facebook and other social media issues.
I saw career counselors, resume writers, HR directors and labor lawyers commenting in news stories galore when companies started asking job applicants for their Faceboook passwords.
Privacy issues are always in the news. So take advantage of it!
6. Tie into Labor Department statistics for your country.
When your Labor Department issues its monthly report on topics such as how many people are retiring, look within your own company and see if you can pitch a local angle.
People love stories about elderly workers, particularly employees in their 80s and 90s who are still happily employed. I’ve given you about a dozen more ideas within that post.
7. Starting a business? Piggyback onto the dismal jobs outlook.
It’s a lot easier now to get publicity for a new business than it was during rosier times when the economy was roaring full speed ahead. Here are 6 ways to promote your retail business before you open.
8. Pitch a story about your own American Dream. Patch.com, the uberlocal site that serves 22 states and District of Columbia, has a feature called Dispatches : The Changing American Dream, and I’ve given you some suggestions for how to pitch. You can read more about the feature here.
9. Pitch photos, not just stories.
The fall harvest is expected to be dismal this year in the U.S. because of the hot weather. If your backyard garden is producing giant ears of corn, or puny pumpkins, let the media and bloggers know. Photos can speak volumes.
Those are my ideas. Let’s hear yours. How have you piggybacked onto national, international or regional news and gotten publicity as the local angle? Feel free to link to the articles and blog posts.