When it comes to the news, local media outlets love to localize national and international news stories to make them feel more relevant to their audiences. When these stories come around, there is a tremendous opportunity to proactively generate positive media coverage for your brand and to position your thought leaders.
Pope Francis’ historic visit to the U.S. is a great example of how Cooksey leveraged a national story to generate local coverage. We are fortunate to work with the University of Dallas, a private Catholic liberal arts school in Irving, and immediately saw an opportunity to use this visit to shine a local spotlight on the school’s student and professors. Some of the students had a rare opportunity to see the Pope speak in person during his masses in Washington, D.C. Throughout the week leading up to the Pope’s arrival, local media outlets were excited to put a local face to the upcoming events as over and over we heard a resounding “yes” to our pitch about University of Dallas students making a pilgrimage to see the Pope. As well, a number of media outlets responded to our invitation to speak with University of Dallas faculty experts for commentary about the Pope’s various speeches.
A Papal visit to the U.S. is rare, but there are always a wide range of national stories impacting your industry and your community. Do you have an executive who can provide thought leadership or insight into a current trend? Does your company volunteer for an organization receiving national attention for its good works? Do you offer an unusual training or benefits program that aligns with a national trend? Use it to help put your company in a favorable spotlight.
Thinking outside the box and being proactive are crucial to the success of any public relations professional. There is often an opportunity to share someone’s story, but we must also remember to look for the story within a story.