By Sally Glick - With a special focus on those firms that do not have a full time marketer, one of the easiest ways to build a strong reputation in your community is to develop a good relationship with the local press.
Most of the business reporters are easily accessible to you. Their e-mail addresses are typically listed in the masthead or attached to their articles or columns. When you see a trend evolving, observe an economic shift, or have an idea that you think has an impact on the business community, contact the press. You do not need a high priced PR agency to help with this!
The smaller the newspaper, the more eager the journalists are for your shared insights. You can become one of their trusted resources by being prompt, offering good ideas and being respectful of their deadlines. When you are quoted as an expert - the value of the "endorsement" for you and your firm is priceless. Keep in touch - but do not be a pest. Offer good ideas, and if the journalists need help in an area where you do not have the expertise, help them by refering someone who does. Being unselfish goes a long way with the media.
I would love to know if any of you have developed local media relationships - and what the pay off has been for you over time. Chime in with your thoughts!