The Underrated Power of Local Press in Public Relations

Written by Charley Lowther

20 June 2023


In today’s world, where global media networks and digital platforms dominate the news landscape, the importance of regional and local press can sometimes be overlooked. However, in recent headlines, the topic of local press has gained substantial attention. The decision by the BBC to cut jobs in local radio, resulting in a loss of local-to-the-area radio presenters, has sparked a conversation about the value of local journalism and its influence on communities and businesses alike​​.

The power of regional and local press lies in its proximity to the community it serves. Local radio presenters, intimately familiar with the area and its people, are being replaced with more generalized figures, leading to a dilution of the local flavour that makes regional media so crucial. This shift emphasizes the need to understand and respect the significance of local press in maintaining community connection and ensuring the circulation of locally-relevant news.

For smaller communities, local press plays an irreplaceable role in keeping everyone well connected and up-to-date. It fosters a sense of unity and community spirit that national media often cannot replicate due to their broader focus. The importance of local press also extends to communities with smaller, independent businesses. These businesses, which are often the lifeblood of local economies, rely on the exposure that local media offers – exposure that regional or national media may not provide. This can have profound impacts on local and even national economies.

But it’s not just small businesses that benefit from the power of local press. Even larger enterprises need to recognise the importance of having local press on their side. Big businesses often rely on local workers, and the way these businesses are portrayed in local media can significantly shape their reputation in the community. A positive local media presence can attract high-quality local talent and foster community goodwill, which can be invaluable for business success.

The power of local press extends beyond simple news reporting. Often, local media outlets can initiate campaigns that impact the local community. These campaigns can be a force for change in the area, reflecting community interests and serving as a platform to protect them. This ability to influence local opinion and action is unique to local press and underscores its importance in the public relations ecosystem.

Moreover, local press plays a pivotal role in promoting accountability. Local investigative journalists, deeply embedded in their communities, can often uncover stories that may otherwise go unnoticed. These revelations can lead to meaningful change and ensure that businesses and public figures remain accountable to their communities.

So no matter how big or small the business, the local press is a powerful ally. It is crucial to maintain good relations with local media to ensure positive community perception and engagement. In an age of global news networks and digital media, let us not forget the influence and importance of local press in shaping our communities and businesses.

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