Why local is important in media relations?

One of the key activities we as public relations professionals continually look into the respective brands that we are associated with is increasing brand awareness, and that’s a daunting task always. One needs to maintain a positive buzz continuously and keep communicating the value delivered by the products and services being offered by the company.

In the age of globalisation, where the markets are expanded, one often focuses its communication to larger audiences. However, most people are ignorant about the role of local PR. Is there a need to address communication at the local level? Is there a requirement to address a specific local community? Is it important to build good relations with the local community? Is the relationship management of the local media also equally important for the businesses?

Local PR can have its advantages for any business as it doesn’t require high decibel spends across the country or beyond international boundaries. It can be managed more on a one-to-one basis, and in a somewhat personalised manner. Even national and global brands can engage themselves at a local level to facilitate brand building.

Imagine a steel factory, a soft drink bottling plant, a confectionery unit, a suiting and shirting factory, and a similar range of products that may have a high number of consumer touchpoints. While they sell their products cutting across the geographical boundaries of countries, they can achieve greater goodwill by addressing the local community in an impacting manner.

Such companies can identify the needs of the local population, establish the gaps in livelihood, living conditions, social structures, anomalies present, along with the potential of upliftment required and start creating programs for them. These can be educational programmes or scholarships for the children of mill workers, health & hygiene programmes for the women family members of their employees, sports facilities for their children, etc.

And why restrict to own employees? These constructive and nation-building initiatives can be spread through the society, villages, catchments, and within towns where corporates have their facilities located. Such local initiatives will always be well received by the local media, and in the age of the internet, everything local that is good has a chance to get amplified globally, leading to strengthening of goodwill and only goodwill.

Most important is to find a local angle, to identify a local need, to gauge the local potential, and take necessary steps to address the same. Often when such local programs meet with success for the corporates, it offers them an opportunity to scale up and start taking ahead these ideas at a national level.

An educational programme started around a small catchment could deliver a great response and has the potential to identify highly talented individuals. A sports facility among the tribal belt nearby a big factory set up of a corporate may just have the potential of bringing out an international sports champion from them. Similarly, good initiatives might help in eradicating much social evil, and redundant practices and simply uplift the human dignity among women and girl children.

All such local initiatives having high potential outputs will find a great response among the local media. Such achievements are not only received well by the local media but also are covered in depth by them, unlike national media which always have a space crunch due to their wider range of coverage subjects.

Local PR can be an extremely cost-effective way to bring local issues to the fore and for reaching out to policymakers, governments, administration, corporates, and consumers equally. Something, that not only leads the development of the local population but also does a larger good of nation-building, while giving a positive image to the corporate concerned.

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

Praveen Nagda
Praveen Nagda is the CEO of Peregrine Public Relations, a full-service corporate communications and public relations consultancy firm delivering a pan-India reach to its clients. He also heads White Coffee, an independent events & celebrity engagement company.

Praveen has been closely associated with many national and international events related to cinema for children, art and culture. He has a well-rounded experience that cuts across all key sectors of PR & Corporate Communications.

He started his career with URJA Communications, an advertising agency specialising in technology brands, where he was instrumental in developing the PR division. Post this, he had a stint with Horizons Porter Novelli, a global public relations consultancy. Thereafter, he was heading the IT & Telecom division at Clea PR, a leading Indian public relations and communications company followed by a fairly long stint with Omnicom Group agencies viz. TBWA\India and Brodeur India.

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