One of the fundamentals of successful pitching to radio is localizing the story as much as possible. Stations and state, regional or metro area networks are always seeking ways to provide listeners with information that is pertinent to their local area. So having local information in hand when pitching, more often than not, gets an interview booked or a story placed. There are two tried and true ways to localize a story and make it more attractive to stations.
One method is to have a general release but provide stations with additional supporting information, such as state-by-state statistics that evaluate each state in a survey or study. One recent example of a localized story that we worked on dealt with getting better healthcare for disabled veterans. The information was broken down by state and the data included the number of disabled vets in each state and how much each state spent per year caring for these men and women returning from their military service. This information allowed stations to easily compare their state to a neighboring one, or their state’s current ranking to last year’s results.
The second effective localization method is to provide an individual release for each market featuring local information. While this method can be time consuming, it can be the most user-friendly format for stations, because it provides all of the resources necessary to create a story featuring their geographic area. The less preparation stations have to go through to make the story relevant to their audience, the higher the expected usage rate.
Using local information and knowledge of issues in a particular market can often make or break a campaign. So, next time you are preparing a release for radio, you may be thinking globally, but remember to act locally.
posted by Curt Gill