How To Find Local News Agencies Who Want To Feature You

How To Find Local News Agencies Who Want To Feature You

My strategy for digital PR is a solid link-building method to get free backlinks from local news agencies and publications. It could work for national publications as well, but in reality, when most of us try out digital PR, we’re all trying to pitch the really big names and of course, we get no response, we get disheartened and we move on, and forget about it.

A Look at Link-Building Strategies

There are plenty of other link-building strategies that work. Obviously, I run a link-building agency based on outreach, so we have really powerful links with a minimum DR of 30, and a minimum traffic of 1,000, and they’re probably our biggest needle mover overall. That’s because even with digital PR, you’re mainly getting homepage links with brand name anchor text and they’re still no follow links.


Whereas, what you ideally want is do-follow links to your actual sales page, your so-called money pages which have keyword-rich anchor texts, so that Google can see whatever you’re selling. That page has a lot of links pointing at it, talking about the objects you’re selling. But you should try to get both.


Digital PR is still a really good first way to get foundation links and just generally build up your brand, especially with your authority in Google. So you need to make sure that the homepage still has a lot of power coming into it and you’re not just pointing all these things straight at your money page.


Why Local News Agencies Are Your Link-Building Secret Weapon

The tactic here is basically by pitching local newspapers. They still have a lot of authority and there’s a lot of them. Generally, they’re quite desperate for content. A lot of them are using banner ads and therefore, they’re basically just desperate to get as many clicks as possible. So if you come along with free content then it’s quite hard for them to say no, especially if it’s valuable content.


But How Exactly Do You Find The Willing News Agencies?

I have outlined how you can use ChatGPT to take some data and craft a story that appeals to a journalist and appeals to an editor. If you’ve written the story for them then there’s very little reason they shouldn’t just publish that right away and give you the link. But I’ve had a question from people in my Youtube videos, asking: “How exactly do I submit a story to local news agencies?”


Now the classic, more traditional approach is using something like Cision or Muck Rack. These are databases of journalists that allow you to reach out to journalists directly and tip them off. The issue with these tools is they are very expensive, so $10,000 per year. Sounds great if you’re a PR agency but that’s very limiting if you’re a smaller brand.

Use Google’s Search Power to Find Your Perfect Match

I have a cheaper workaround for these kinds of local news sites. I simply use Google advanced search operators. Basically, whatever you put in quotation marks in Google, that page has to have those exact words in that order. So I put in “local news” and “submit a story” and then I can scroll through and identify potential newspapers.


I actually use the Ahrefs Chrome extension and it tells me the DR of these sites so I can quickly see local news and choose the ones relevant to me.

Now, the point of this is you can find the local newspaper, go to their contact page, and find the contact details. But you don’t know what their editorial process is. They might say no. So the best thing to do is to reach out to the journalist directly. Even though it’s all a bit clunky, the process still works,


Target News Sites Open to Same-Day Content Publication

It seems logical to me that any news site that has ‘submit story’ as a page on their site is the kind of newspaper that’s keen to get content, they’re really eager to hear from you.


Normally, if you go to a contact page for a bigger newspaper, they’ll normally say: “Give us your phone number.” For those kinds of websites, you’re just pitching an idea and they’ll then be in touch to craft the story. We don’t want to mess around with that. We just want to get straight to it. What are the news websites that are happy to take our content and publish it within the same day? Those are the sites we want.


Localize Your Pitch: Speak the Language of Your Target Audience

If you can make your news story relevant to the location of the papers, that is, if you can localize your content to fit where they’re situated, that’s even better. I see no reason why they would reject that. For more varied results, you can type “local news” and “submit story” together on Google if there’s a particular demographic you’re targeting. You can also type specific locations just to get better results. For instance, you could try “New Jersey News” and “Submit Story,” for sites based in New Jersey that would love news submissions.


Turn One Local Win into a Network of Backlinks (Bonus Tip)

So this one’s just a tip but you never know, you might get lucky. A lot of these local newspapers operate as big networks. You can have a single company that basically runs hundreds of outlets potentially and so when you find one of those, you actually have a gold mine because if they’re willing to accept your submission in one location, you’re probably going to find that you can actually apply that to loads of different locations once you know what their editorial standards are.


So once you get those relationships, get that insider information where you have outlets that are willing to take your content, then that’s really valuable. You can keep going back and again and again. And that’s exactly what we do with my agency.


Level Up Your Link Building with Our Expertise

Whether it’s PR or outreach-based links, we do all these at a scale for many of my brands plus clients’ brands. As a matter of fact, we have quite a really good directory now, a good understanding of where we can get placements, and how to deal with editorial requirements in order to get those placements sorted and published without delay.


So if you are interested, let me know by checking out our APPLY page. Otherwise, good luck getting those PR links and expanding your brand.

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