Sarah Evans Explains How to Get Local PR

Generating local publicity is a worthwhile investment of effort for small businesses that serve a particular geography. Even if your target is national or international, your perspective as an informed and active member of your locality can boost awareness and sales for your business.

Sarah Evans is a recognized expert on how to generate publicity and we were fortunate to get her advice on the topic of local PR. I had the opportunity to interview Sarah at Blog World Expo 2010, an annual conference that we recommend to bloggers.

Sarah’s public relations company Sevans Strategy is adept at both traditional and new media PR. She has recently been included in Vanity Fair’s America’s Tweethearts, Forbes’ 14 Power Women to Follow on Twitter and Entreprenuer’s Top 10 Hot Startups of 2010.

You can find Sarah on Twitter @PRSarahEvans and on her blog. Sarah launched in 2008, and hosts #journchat, a weekly live chat between PR professionals, journalists and bloggers held on Twitter – Monday nights from 8PM to 9PM Eastern Time. (Please look forward to an article about how to participate in Twitter Chats on Boomer Tech Talk in the near future).



Transcript of Sarah Evans Tips:

“One of the most simple things you can do is watch your national news in the morning and see if there any national angles that relate to your business where you can serve as a local source.

That is important because you can contact your local daily print, radio, TV outlets and say ‘I can offer a local perspective on this topic or issue.’

Really get to know your local media and in addition to that now your local bloggers – people who are talking about business, industry or if you serve a certain niche – food, entertainment, tech whatever your business in, find the people who are writing about that.

These days that would include bloggers.

Invest time in getting to know people who can help you reach your consumer – just like I learned in my background for traditional media, the same applies to your social networks and bloggers.”

Have you had a local publicity success? Please tell us about it.

About Linda Sherman

International, multicultural marketing pro, Linda brings a distinguished background of international subsidiary CEO/CMO to her Social Marketing expertise. These include CEO Club Med Japan, Barilla Japan and CMO Wal-Mart Japan. Linda Sherman has been featured and quoted in Forbes, The New York Times, Christian Monitor and other leading publications. She devised and implemented an innovative guerrilla-marketing plan for ZIMA in Japan that produced a lasting, profitable success. Linda has hands-on technical skills in building and search optimizing WordPress websites and an influential on-line presence. Linda teaches social marketing for business at the University of Hawaii. Her company, The Courage Group, provides websites, digital film, branding and social marketing strategy and training.

Connect with Linda Sherman on Google+

  • Anonymous

    I’m confused, as I thought the point of having a blog was so that you didn’t have to be local :)

    • http://ItsDifferent4girls.com Linda Sherman

      Thanks @MatchesMalone You must be referring to @PRSarahEvans phrase “local bloggers” – @JanieC is a great example of a geographically focused blogger. I have a blog called http://OurBestofKauai.com Being “local” can also make people more accessible even if their coverage is national – a food reviewer living in Chicago may cover other localities as well, but certainly if you are promoting your restaurant it is good to cultivate relationships with the local food bloggers.

      • Anonymous

        Right, but as a content creator, as opposed to an end user, it’s not that important to me to focus on local blogs, as a member of the industry. Which as you know, also refers to, the business.

  • Kim Calvert

    Thanks for the great tips. I’ve been running a Los Angeles-focused online magazine and web community for about three years now and despite growing traffic and growing members, and all that we do to create awareness of who we are and what we do, I’m always finding people in my exact demo who have never heard of us. Sarah’s tip to look for national or even international trends and then offering to provide a local perspective to local media is a great idea.

    Kim Calvert
    Founder / Editor of Singular magazine and SingularCity.com

    • http://ItsDifferent4girls.com Linda Sherman

      Yes. @SingularCity already has some great local media fans but you are certainly well qualified to serve as a continuing go to person providing expert quotes for anything to do with single men and women lifestyle in Los Angeles.

    • http://ItsDifferent4girls.com Linda Sherman

      Yes. @SingularCity already has some great local media fans but you are certainly well qualified to serve as a continuing go to person providing expert quotes for anything to do with single men and women lifestyle in Los Angeles.

  • Anonymous

    Hey, there is nothing wrong with being local. We are all from some where. And lots of small businesses are working their local or regional markets. Why not use this as a way to get more local and regional coverage?

    • http://ItsDifferent4girls.com Linda Sherman

      Well said @BeckyMcCray the Queen of http://www.smallbizsurvival.com Particularly if you are in a small or rural town – you will find some great tips here!

  • http://twitter.com/BertaArt Clara Berta

    Great interview with Sarah Evans especially the tips on focusing PR on local media. I am presently working on that in Studio City, since I teach a painting class on Saturday’s and wish my community to know about my students work and also my teaching. Thank you!

    • http://ItsDifferent4girls.com Linda Sherman

      Clara, you are certainly a leader when it comes to understanding the importance of media – both new and traditional, in communicating about your art. I know that it is hard to take time away from creating art but it all comes back so beautifully in the stimulation you get from bringing in new students. One piece of Local Media I recall was your appearance in Singular Magazine which got generated because of your active participation there – including holding art events for members: http://singularcity.com/featured-singularcity-members/395-singularcity-featured-member-clara-berta

      • http://twitter.com/BertaArt Clara Berta

        I agree with you Linda and I am sorry I forgot to mention that SingularCity has been a huge supporter of my creative process. I also wish to thank you for your generosity and teaching me to share more with my fans and friends. I realize now that art is about sharing and teaching is about supporting my community. I also love having Ladies Night In with wine & cheese and getting in touch with our Inner Artist.

  • http://www.TheCoralGablesStory.com Janie Coffey

    Getting to know your local media ( easy on twitter) is key. Twice in the past month and three times total I’ve been in our local news (CBS snd ABC affiliates) due to built connections from twitter. To show your news coverage on you blog elevates tour perceived authority immensely. This is an under used tool. If I can do it in a large market like Miami, anyone can.

    • http://ItsDifferent4girls.com Linda Sherman

      Wow that is great @JanieC ! Could you share with us a link to one of the local news pieces you have been in?

  • http://www.TheCoralGablesStory.com Janie Coffey

    Getting to know your local media ( easy on twitter) is key. Twice in the past month and three times total I’ve been in our local news (CBS snd ABC affiliates) due to built connections from twitter. To show your news coverage on you blog elevates tour perceived authority immensely. This is an under used tool. If I can do it in a large market like Miami, anyone can.

  • http://twitter.com/AnnieintheSun Ann H. Shea

    Linda, thanks for posting these nice interviews. You nabbed two of my fav social media mavens, Sarah Evans and Mari Smith, in one post! Keep up the good reporting and info scoops. I probably share more of Sarah’s discoveries than just about anyone else I know. Her #Commentz newsletter is essential in my inbox!

    • http://ItsDifferent4girls.com Linda Sherman

      Thank you Ann. Your Hampton Marketing Facebook Page is looking very nice. It’s good to know that you enjoy finding and posting tips because I love interviewing various pros to get them.

      • http://twitter.com/AnnieintheSun Ann H. Shea

        I would love to meet you in Miami. I can introduce to some of our local social media hocho’s and mavens.

        • http://ItsDifferent4girls.com Linda Sherman

          I already know a bunch of them. But I do love networking. Thank you! Have you met Tor Black? http://www.meetup.com/Miami-Online-Marketing/ His Miami Meet-Ups are definitely worth checking out. SEO and WordPress are my two hot topics – I love to get on my geek.

  • Anonymous

    Terrific interview with @PRSarahEvans. My best local news success story was on last Valentine’s Day. As an online dating expert, I was featured in the Los Angeles Times in two articles. The media loves a hook and a local expert on big holidays. Now, I am preparing for the upcoming Valentine’s media and one year after I sent a copy of my book to FOX News, I received a phone call that they want to interview me on FOX 11 in Los Angeles. Apparently they were looking for an online dating expert and my book was sitting on someone’s desk for a year. One thing I have learned, when the media is ready to find you, they do. Be consistent in reaching out to the local media. I also find that using twitter hashtags has resulted in media contacting me for interviews. Here are the links for the LA Times Articles: “Make it Personal, Keep it Real” http://articles.latimes.com/2010/feb/14/image/la-ig-0214-profile-20100212 “Finding the Right Online Dating Site” http://articles.latimes.com/2010/feb/14/image/la-ig-modernlove14-20100213/2

    • http://ItsDifferent4girls.com Linda Sherman

      I really appreciate your adding to this discussion @JulieSpira because so many book authors look to you as an authority on book promotion based on both what you have accomplished and what you can teach. Glad to see the press seeking you out once again for Valentines Day interviews. Try to stay warm on your trip to NYC.

      • Anonymous

        Thank you Linda. Authors need to know that they can really build a platform through the use of social media.