I’m approached fairly regularly by businesses in Knutsford and elsewhere in Cheshire and Manchester (Buzzwords is based in Knutsford!) who want to use PR to raise their profile. In many cases, what they mean is ‘marketing services’ – and not PR, which has become an umbrella term for things like advertising, direct mail and so on.
That’s fine, of course. Most PR practitioners handle a wide range of services other than pure public relations – or they ‘know a man who can’. Exploiting local PR opportunities is one of the most cost-effective forms of publicity there is, so it makes sense to be constantly on the lookout for a juicy PR story.
Companies with lots of employees have a ready-made source of human-interest stories which will very likely interest the local media. Businesses with unusual new products, or directors who’ve been winning business or doing other unspeakable things in the far flung corners of the globe… all this makes for good copy.
No business is without a PR story. It may sometimes call for a bit more ‘drilling down’ into what’s going on with the company, its people, products and services. Stories with a ‘local politics’ bias could ring a few bells – wrangling with the local council, for example, or inviting the local MP to do the honours at a special product launch or company anniversary.
Sometimes, of course, stories can be ‘created’ around things like sponsorship deals or charity events. Local PR has many dimensions. Whether you’re based in Knutsford, Cheshire or Manchester, it’s simply a question of sitting down and thinking through what opportunities are under your nose.