Local Media: How to Land Interviews in Your Backyard
If you look at your hometown newspaper or TV station’s website, you’ll notice a common theme when scanning the headlines. Many of the articles are localizing national news stories. Whether it’s related to the pandemic, the current economic climate or even politics, news reporters are often looking for that local hook. When not reporting or localizing the national news, reporters also cover local stories that directly impact the majority of its city’s residents.
How Can You Snag a Local Interview? Below Are Four Strategies to Increase Your Chances:
Localize National News
When breaking news stories impact nearly everyone, like a market downturn, it’s a significant opportunity to offer your expertise to local media. Be sure to monitor the news cycle. When you see an opportunity to provide commentary, be prepared as breaking news reporters move quickly – sometimes conducting an interview almost immediately.
Producers and editors are often looking for professionals who can educate their audience. For example, when the market experienced extreme volatility this past March, it was an opportune time for advisors to share their expertise on how to respond or what to consider to diversify risk in their portfolio.
Tie Topics to Calendar-Based Observances
Media outlets often pair calendar-based events and topics with related news stories. Monthly observances are a prime opportunity to align your expertise with a calendar event. For example, reporters are always looking for fresh ways to report on annual holidays like the 4th of July. As a financial advisor, you could discuss the topic of financial freedom from different angles such as 4 ways of achieving financial independence, how to teach your children financial responsibility to grow up to be independent adults or how goal setting can help individuals achieve financial freedom by age 40, 50 or 60.
Another example is flu season. You can use this tie-in to discuss inoculating one’s portfolio from a variety of scenarios like: market volatility, taxes, future viruses (how many investors knew a virus could shut down the economy so suddenly) or by shifting from aggressive to conservative investments as you inch closer to retirement.
Financial advisors often don’t realize that they are sitting on a goldmine of information related to calendar-based events that local reporters would snap up in a minute. During tax time, what might be considered a slow tax season at your office, could be newsworthy to a local reporter. Let’s say you notice the trend that an unusual amount of people filed for an extension this year – information such as this could pique the interest of a local reporter or two and earn you the opportunity to share your insight.
Editors and reporters are extremely overworked. When working in a 24-hour newsroom, editors and reporters don’t have the extra manpower to develop original content as they once were able. However, for a financial advisor, that works in your favor. Many neighborhood and daily newspapers now accept contributing content. While writing your content can take some extra effort compared to having a reporter develop an article and utilizing your insight – you have much more control of what information you want to highlight for your target demographic.
The key is to develop the article from an editorial, informational or educational standpoint. While it’s tempting to self-promote when creating content, if the content is too “sales-focused,” the editor will direct you to purchase an advertisement rather than publish your content. Also, an educational article containing new or action-oriented information will increase your credibility, like and trust factor with your target demographic.
While we’re familiar with the phrase “Shop Local,” now it’s time to “Think Local.” Are you privy to interesting local financial information – like your state is the only state in the nation to offer a specific tax break that others don’t provide? Or, are you in a position that requires you to keep abreast of any changes impacting a large portion of the community, such as when state laws are up for consideration on tax or pension reform? These are prime opportunities to secure media interviews. By bringing your insight and perspective to media in real time, you’ll increase your odds of being sourced. All media outlets like to be the first to report on “new” news.
While securing local news coverage can be challenging, the right creative approach can increase your odds. Of course, if you want the coverage but don’t want to go at it alone, AdvisorPR and our turnkey PR program offerings could be a good fit for you too. Visit www.AdvisorPR.com for more information.
Gina Traficant is a public relations coordinator with AdvisorPR and former health editor for a Fox affiliate and PR account executive who worked with local and national brands. To learn more about implementing our turnkey PR services for your financial firm, give us a call at (866) 888-5330.