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Tracey Zeeck on Creating Local Buzz

Tracey Zeeck on Creating Local Buzz

In main cities, content material advertising businesses typically outline and hone their apply areas, core competencies, and the industries during which they specialize. It’s widespread to see companies branding themselves into one area of interest: hospitality PR, or tech PR, or type and trend influencer advertising.

In medium-sized and small cities, businesses that serve the native companies take fairly a unique strategy. A PR or advertising company may wind up with shoppers from the hospitality, well being, banking, trend and inside design sectors, to not point out some group non-profits and charitable occasions. You possibly can say that these entrepreneurs are generalists and never specialists – however actually, they do specialize. Of their metropolis.

On this installment of the Area of interest Freelancer, we chat with Tracey Zeeck of Bumbershoot PR, who has been the model storyteller, exterior companion and trusted publicist for dozens of small and medium-sized companies within the mid-sized market of Oklahoma Metropolis. She shares ideas for weaving your self into the native material, opinions on the rising distant workforce, and success tales in advertising all types of regional companies.

Have FOMO relating to your native content material advertising? Get ideas from Tracey Zeeck, an professional publicist in small to medium-sized markets. #contentmarketing #localmarketing #smallbusiness @bumbershootpr @tzeeck Click on To Tweet

How to be a freelance publicist in a small or local market.

What’s the “special skill” that you simply consider a publicist or content material marketer wants in an effort to be the voice of a small to medium-sized enterprise in a mid-sized or small native market?

  1. You could perceive the whole material of a group so you realize the place to weave in your shopper. You possibly can’t are available, for instance, and say “this is the best XX in the city” when you don’t know who the “real” greatest XX within the metropolis is first.
  2. Discover out what the movers and shakers try to maneuver and shake, after which see how one can assist them. I had a automotive vendor shopper that needed to assist make their metropolis higher. One time the shopper referred to as and stated one thing like, “It’s cold out and there’s nothing to do. Let’s make an indoor park for an upcoming event.” It was so good that it was entrance web page information. One other time, at one other occasion, we approached him with, “It’s the last Friday before you can register to vote. What if your activation at this event is just to provide voter registration?” In fact he went for it! And once more, this made the information.
  3. You’re solely ever one screw-up away from blowing your relationship with native media. Don’t misinform them. Don’t lie on your shopper. Don’t mislead them. For those who can’t inform them one thing, inform them that. You may be came upon and it’ll suck for you. Don’t go to a reporter with one thing that doesn’t go well with them. They’ll cease listening to you.As a publicist, do not go to a reporter with something that is misleading or a lie.
  4. Learn the paper, blogs, and so on. Make your self a media and influencer cheat-sheet if it’s essential to.
  5. Additionally, no throwing competing manufacturers underneath the bus. There’s room for everybody. Be the most effective at what you do, and let your shoppers do the identical. After which let your high quality lead.

Guidelines for a regional PR to reside by: ‘You’re solely ever one screw-up away from blowing your relationship with native media. By no means mislead them.’ @tzeeck @bumbershootpr #contentmarketing Click on To Tweet

Have you ever ever labored in a serious metropolis for nationwide shoppers? In that case, please examine it to your present roster.

Sure. Auto racing, pharma, beer, pasta, yogurt… all globally recognized manufacturers. However the humorous factor is, we had higher outcomes once we would drill down and activate in native markets. Come to consider it: That’s in all probability the place I discovered to do issues the best way I do them. I hadn’t considered that earlier than!

Has the transfer towards distant work/digital collaboration modified what you are promoting?

I not have staff. I’m in my 10th yr, and I feel I grew as a result of I assumed I used to be purported to. However I don’t love being a boss. Now I solely “hire” companions who’re smarter or higher than me, and I don’t have to fret about their insurance coverage or home cost or no matter. And whereas I’m in OKC (Oklahoma Metropolis, Oklahoma), I’ve working companions out there from New York to Denver to LA. But in addition, since I reside in OKC, I can afford to have an workplace. So I don’t need to dedicate a part of my house to workspace, and as an alternative I get to flip the change and truly “go” to work.

Can agencies from big markets try to but in and take over publicity in local markets?

Do you see businesses from main cities (Chicago, Houston) making an attempt to nudge their means into your market?

I feel there’ll all the time be outdoors businesses trying to get into smaller markets, as a result of a number of occasions they assume we’re not as refined, and that they will swoop in and benefit from our naiveté. That doesn’t work. However that additionally doesn’t imply there isn’t any room for them. They will completely succeed by coming in and attending to know the group and media, and doing that very same drilled-down strategy utilizing native exploration and relationship-building.

What’s your favourite social media platform?

Instagram with meals shoppers, residence shoppers, artwork shoppers and different fairly fairly issues. I like Twitter lots, however much less for “brands.” I prefer it to be the place the precise people related to the model work together. They’re higher suited to be the voice of the model if you’re native. In the event you might be the voice of your model, take that to Twitter. What do you consider in? What issues matter to you at your organization? Speak about it and let individuals know to allow them to develop a relationship with you and your model.

Is there one thing you actually dislike concerning the media panorama as we speak, and/or the evolution of it?

I’m an previous canine, and I’m simply making an attempt to know what the brand new tips even are, a lot much less making an attempt to study them! Recently I’ve to navigate many conventional retailers tilting away from earned media and leaning towards the P2P mannequin (pay to play). I’m not a media purchaser. If I have been good at that, I might have simply executed that from the start and saved myself one million complications and retired 5 years in the past.

I develop a pitch map and attempt to consider all the particular angles for a specific shopper pitch, after which assign a pitch to strategy every outlet with. This helps the retailers who don’t need to copy-and-paste a press launch. Discount within the variety of earned/editorial media retailers signifies that I’ve to develop extra significant pitches and hunt down huge lovely options.

As a publicist, do you do a lot of work with local bloggers?

Do you’re employed so much with bloggers? Any insights there?

I work some with bloggers, principally meals bloggers. However the perfect blogger in my metropolis is a hilarious snarky weblog: However we’re in all probability low on blogs. Hey, somebody ought to come to OKC and begin a weblog!

I beloved a current social submit of yours detailing how you bought numerous regional press for a gaggle of native credit score unions. Are you able to break it down for our readers?

One advert company I work with had a gaggle of credit score unions with branches statewide. They needed me to ship out a press launch (that that they had written) a few designation they’d earned, making them the one credit score union within the state with such distinction. I made some modifications to the discharge so I felt extra snug with it, which acquired approval. Then I despatched it out to the native papers in cities the place they’ve branches. We ended up within the briefs in two OKC papers. (Which isn’t the place I purpose to be.) The shopper was truly okay with it, however I actually wasn’t. I felt like they might do higher.

So I went again to the account rep on the company and requested him to speak to the shopper concerning the credit score unions, decide 5 or so within the state, and work out how every department impacts every native market. Because it turned out, they have been all extraordinarily concerned. So I went again to the unique press launch despatched, and I re-sent it with this very simple pitch.


I am writing with a narrative concept that I feel [local newspaper] readers may discover fascinating. [Name] Credit score Union was simply named [award.] However they’re not simply a terrific credit score union. They’re additionally an ideal group companion. They serve the workers of [tribe], [the public school system] and [university] staff. Additionally they sponsor lots of native occasions and actions, together with DECA, [underprivileged kids] camp, [University] athletics program, and extra. They’ve been in [town] for about seven years however truly merged with one other credit score union that had been there for a lot of extra.

I hope you agree with me that your readers will discover it fascinating. Please let me know if in case you have any questions or if I might help in any means!

Thanks, Tracey 

This personalised word began conversations that turned 100% pickup within the markets for which we crafted the native pitch.

How can you work with a broad range of industries and clients as a publicist in a small or local market?

In current posts, I talk about the challenges of selling what are perceived as “boring” companies. You truly work with a broad spectrum of industries, from credit score unions to automotive dealerships to hipster inns. Might you share an perception garnered from working with such a broad vary of clientele whose solely unifying trait is that they’re all OKC?

You need to discover one thing fascinating to speak about. And you actually can do it, even when you must assist create it. I used to be working with a group financial institution, they usually have been actually probably the most unsexy story you may think about. YAWN… they usually knew it. They needed to do one thing daring of their group to face out, and all of us agreed that they need to do a fall fest-type occasion of their little OKC-adjacent hamlet, which is residence to certainly one of their most lively branches.

Most of their residents commute to OKC, so we held two group focus teams, one within the small city and one in OKC. We additionally surveyed firm management. From this, we discovered that the occasion we have been hoping to throw would truly be very problematic (It’s a mixture of tremendous spiritual and by no means. So alcohol can be an enormous drawback for half of the attendees, regardless of which approach they went. And they might primarily have to select a aspect.)

However taking time for the main target teams, the factor we surprise-learned was that all of them shared one factor: They select to stay there due to their dedication to household. So we recognized a Wednesdays Baby-type program on an area community affiliate, and beneficial they take on the first sponsorship of this phase, and primarily put their cash towards creating extra households by means of adoption. Neither of the 2 city archetypes might do something however love this. It labored. Hooray!

They nonetheless are sponsoring it, and it’s been an enormous success for them, giving them alternative ways to convey their model into the hearts of the group and do one thing they genuinely love that retains them on air each month. So to reply your query (sorry I took the great distance)… When you take heed to your clients, your administration, your personal inner voice… Yow will discover one thing greater than your model to “believe in,” and you may leverage that for publicity’s sake.

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