Harnessing the power of Regional Media in crafting hyper-local Brand stories

Pic Source: TheBigPitchr

Regional media has played a pivotal role in highlighting complex issues and giving a platform to people to express their concerns. Regional publications have been instrumental in imbibing a sense of pride for native identity. In a diverse and multi-lingual country like India, regional media has a strong sense of cultural and socio-political sensitivities. With their rich and local connect, regional media houses offer deep insights into ground realities and sentiments of people. Regional PR is an evolving space and can add value in building brand image among consumers beyond cosmopolitan cities. I had an opportunity to participate in the gravity conference in Mumbai, wherein Fuzion PR and SCoRe Insights, presented a whitepaper on the present regional media landscape in India and how brands can leverage local engagement for reach and visibility. The report titled “The Indian Paradox: Navigating Growth and Challenges in Regional Media”, highlighted the potential of localised marketing communications campaigns and how communicators can leverage the strengths of regional media for holistic campaigns.

Here is how communicators can harness the power of regional media in crafting impactful brand stories with a local touch.

Understand Cultural Nuances

Few months ago, a prominent cold drink brand faced mockery for the absurd translation of their punch line in one of the local languages. A lack of understanding of the connotation caused a fiasco and triggered a hilarious memes fest on social media. Understanding cultural nuances and regional sensitivities is crucial for hyper-local communications campaigns. Understand the diversity within regional outlets, such as languages, local references, and digital maturity. Tailor your campaigns to address different ethnic groups from the same region. Draft pitches that can influence people and grab the attention of regional publications. Focus on stories rather than products and highlight how your product/service makes a difference in people’s lives.

Be Resourceful to Journalists

Traditional regional publications are trying to find their grounds in the wave of digitisation. The pressure of maintaining business amid shrinking advertisement revenue has compelled them to look for new avenues for growth while maintaining integrity and trust in the digital-first media landscape. Communicators can help regional media navigate this transition by offering training on digital technologies to produce captivating content. Strategic content collaboration is an efficient way to craft stories that resonate with the regional audience. Communicators can also leverage the rich database of regional publications for roadshows/events, which offers them an additional revenue stream.

Create Local Ambassadors

Influencers marketing has been around for years, and brands effectively leverage influencers to promote their brands. However, within the creator economy, there is an emerging trend of micro-influencers who can be potential ambassadors of brands. Micro-influencers have a decent following in their city or region. They are known for creating content that hits all the right notes with their audience. Make micro-influencers a part of your integrated marketing campaigns. Similarly, engage with regional thought leaders, domain experts, and intellectuals to build credibility for your brand and win the trust of your target audience.

Leverage Digital Platforms

Social media can amplify your brand visibility and stimulate meaningful conversations to influence your brand perspective. Leverage social media to share your impact campaigns, success stories, business initiatives and the causes you endorse. Pitch stories suitable for digital formats, including multimedia content such as videos, infographics, and podcasts. Facilitate conversations around the issues which influence the audience. Ensure your digital campaigns are relevant and aligned with the current audience’s sentiments.

Build Relations Beyond Engagement

Focus on building long-term relations with regional publications by offering them content support and collaboration opportunities. However, be mindful of their integrity and freedom. Understand their editorial policies, purpose, and content stylebook to pitch relevant stories and branded content. Communicators have access to industry reports and insights. Offer such resources to journalists to build stories. Refrain from interfering in their assignments. Instead, offer support to help them meet deadlines. Be prompt in your response and avoid constant follow-ups on coverages. Be respectful to reporters, and avoid surpassing the hierarchy to get your story across the news platforms, as it may ruin your relations and credibility.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Priyanka Pugaokar
Priyanka Pugaokar is a communications professional with expertise in internal and external communication, crisis communications, content generation and media relations. She holds over ten years of combined experience in communications and business journalism. She is currently associated with Rashi Peripherals Limited as Corporate Communications Manager and leads several strategic projects. She is an avid travel explorer. A lifelong learner, she holds interest in yoga, naturopathy, energy healing and crystallography.

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