Companies who aim for a national audience may believe that they can effectively reach their target by using media formats like broadcast TV.
But a significant number of national public relations firms also allocate a portion of their media relations mix to local media in target markets. Doing so has both rewards and challenges.
Currently, about 66 percent of brands spend some amount of their budgets on local PR campaigns according to Balihoo research. Nearly 20 percent of these companies allocate 25 percent of their budgets to this effort. Another 35 percent spend between 1-5 percent of PR budgets on local channels. The national businesses most likely to engage in local PR have $1 billion or more in revenue. These companies “are 49 percent more likely to invest in local” than national companies that have only $100-$250 million in revenue.
What do these businesses expect in exchange for this expenditure? It’s all about ROI. Public relations execs are looking for an ROI that’s equal to or higher than what they get in the national campaigns at least 81 percent of the time. In general, 56 percent of national campaigns and 42 percent of local campaigns are subject to ROI metrics.
More than half of these businesses look for a marketing ROI of 3 to 1 and a lower ROI on national campaigns. However, 24 percent of national campaigns and 36 percent of local campaigns are expected to generate an ROI of at least 4 to 1.
These companies face challenges in achieving this goal though. Many are exploring new formats like search and location-based networks to expand their local reach. As they emphasize their local campaigns, the top three problems PR execs cite this year in the Balihoo survey are lack of budget (39.7 percent), tracking and metrics (38.6 percent) and lead generation (31.4 percent).
The national public relations team at AXIA also runs local campaigns for clients in cities across the U.S., including Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dayton, Daytona Beach, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Los Angeles, New York City, Orlando, Rochester, Saint Paul, Savannah, Seattle, Tampa Bay, Toledo, Washington, D.C. and more…
June 11, 2012 | Kathy Crosett
[Source: Research Micro Study. Balihoo.com. 2012. Web. 4 Jun. 2012]