All news is local. ~ Former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill
Most of our clients come to us seeking national publicity, but there is value in being a star in your hometown market, too. I never realized just how important it was until Kelly Wolf George joined our team. Kelly is Guarisco Group’s Senior Account Supervisor and Director of Media Training. Kelly’s Emmy winning background includes reporting, producing and anchoring on local affiliates of all the broadcast networks as well as CNN. Here are her thoughts on the value and future of local news:
When I tell people I have experience working in both local and national TV news, they typically ask, “Which one did you like better?” Honestly, I didn’t enjoy one more than the other. Both had benefits. It’s similar to when you watch local and national TV news. They each provide the viewer something different. Some viewers find local news to be too narrow focused. Others believe local news provides valuable information tailored to their interests and needs.
Stories in local news are only a few minutes long. If you watched Atlanta news this past week you might have seen coverage on issues such as the Atlanta Public Schools cheating trial, a suspect arrested in a local kidnapping/murder case and a family displaced by a house fire. Added in were a few minutes of weather and sports, and stations were able to fill a few hours of TV time. If you flipped the channel over to CNN or Fox, where there are 24 hours to fill, you probably saw longer more detailed coverage of stories such as ISIS, Hong Kong Protestors and US troops staying in Afghanistan. And you still got a national weather forecast and some NFL scores.
Local newscasts will also include national stories, and one of my main responsibilities at the Guarisco Group is working our clients into local coverage of national issues. As a local reporter I enjoyed localizing national stories because it gave me an opportunity to do local and national news at the same time. In local news, I also liked getting to know the issues and the people within the communities that I lived and worked in. Now I enjoy helping reporters out by showing them how our clients can contribute to their coverage.
Getting local news coverage or being chosen to speak as an expert on a local story will reach people, clients and businesses in the community where you work and live. Local news stations also put most of the on-air stories on the station websites so the coverage continues to live on. Those story links then get picked up by affiliate stations and are run on their websites as well. Sometimes a story done on a local newscast can have a longer life cycle than a interview conducted on a CNN, FOX or MSNBC.
Some people have said local TV news will soon be a thing of the past. But I believe local TV news is important and people continue to want it. They like to wake up and see what happened overnight in their city. They want to check traffic and weather and see what events are happening for the day. So stay tuned, and watch for our clients!