How to Leverage Local Media Relationships to Increase Community Involvement

local media buying strategy

An advantage of buying media on the local level is the ability to cultivate invaluable relationships with local media outlets.

These partnerships enable consistent advertisers to augment spot buys and turn a small effort of good will into a larger, more well-rounded venture.

Here are 2 ways to leverage local media relationships to support community events:

1. Become a part of community outreach with a local media outlet

Specific needs may vary, but local vendors have contacts, in a wide range of industries, and can create a promotion or sponsorship for your business or pair you with a strategic partner, including the station/outlet itself.

For example, an Indianapolis television station has partnered with a local hospital, credit union and grocery store to promote events supporting the community throughout the year.  Including events like, Black History Month, Go Red for Women, Race for the Cure and Relay for Life.

This type of 52-week sponsorship allows an advertiser the opportunity to have a company’s spokesperson featured in a television campaign, promoting specific philanthropic initiatives.  A little good will goes a long way in the community.

2. Ask local media partners to help promote an existing community initiative

You may already have a number of community initiatives or fundraising efforts in place, so instead of teaming with other companies and media partners, use your local relationships to help get the word out.  This is a great use of the added value you secured with your advertising expenditure.

You may have a fundraising effort in place when disaster relief is needed.  For example, in the Southeast, Kroger creates an easy way for people to donate, by simply “rounding up” their grocery bill.  This type of fundraising is time sensitive and normally happens in a very short timeframe.  It is the local media relationships that help generate awareness of this effort and make it a success, time and time again.

You may have another community program in place, like a toy drive or canned food drive.  Make sure you notify your media partners in advance and ask how they can help.  With proper planning, you can help support the public relations efforts and secure news stories, interviews and additional media coverage to increase awareness.

In strained economic times and in an environment where a wealth of information is at your consumer’s fingertips, do not underestimate the value in creating a positive image and impact on your community.

Creating a personal connection can reinforce your market position and give your audience a better grasp of your committed participation in the places they live and work. The best opportunity to accomplish this is through relationships with your local media partners.

photo credit: nvidia.corporation via photopin cc

Leslie Kill

About Leslie Kill

Leslie is an Associate Media Director at Sheehy+Associates, a regional advertising, marketing and media agency. She has been entrenched in media for a little over 10 years, allowing her the privilege to work with clients and in markets big, small and many places in between.

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