When establishing any Web site, particularly for small businesses, there are many less well used advertising channels that open up to local advertisers.
When you are launching a new venture – such as a web site – for your business, it is easy to overlook the local avenues that are available to you for publicity.
Many local newspapers – particularly those with a free distribution funded by advertisements, or community based publications – will print press releases for local businesses, particularly where those businesses have a local focus or bring some benefit to the community, directly or indirectly.
It may not be a front page splash story, but if your business targets the local market, a small amount of column space inside a locally circulated newspaper can still be valuable publicity.
From the newspaper’s point of view, well written press releases can be a convenient source of filler material that comes very cheaply – especially when compared to the cost and effort of writing ‘real’ stories.
As an often-overlooked avenue for publicity and advertising, this offers an opportunity to reach the consciousness of your local market, and increase their awareness of your company at any point in the life span of your business.
Naturally this presents an ideal opportunity when taking your business to the Internet. If you can work an angle that seems suitably newsworthy, innovative or community oriented, you have every chance of some publicity.
If you are lucky, you may even be able to get a photograph accompanying the article, ideally with your Web site address on prominent display in the background of the picture.
Some areas will have more than one local newspaper – or fall into the overlapping area between two closely situated newspapers. Compared to writing paying articles, a press release can be sent to any number of newspapers for publication: there will be no disputes or disagreements over printing rights.
If your home and business are covered by different local newspapers, remember to cover both areas: they will probably both be able to call you a local business.
It may be the case that the area you operate in or the market you serve has some form of trade publication. The same rules apply: press releases can be turned into articles for those outlets, bringing valuable publicity to you, your Web site and your organisation.
The Internet may be global, but that doesn’t mean you should stop thinking of local opportunities. Remember that local could be geographical closeness to your business or close to your market sector.