Storytelling Tip: Localize your story


Storytelling Tip: Localize your story
Today’s tip from JerryBrownPR’s storytelling tips on the Experience Pros Radio Show

By Jerry Brown, APR
Public Relations Consultant

Storytelling Tip: Localize your storyFormer Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill once famously said “All politics is local.”

All stories are local, too. So localize your story for your audience.

Local newspapers typically focus on local news. Pitch a story to a newspaper in Albuquerque and one of the first questions you’re likely to get is how your story affects Albuquerque. Pitch the same story in Omaha and the question changes to how your story affects Omaha.

If you happen to have a business that operates in more than one city, how to localize your story is easy and obvious. Focus your ads and other messages in each city for that city.

But how do you localize your story if you do business in just one place?

Localizing a story is about more than geography. It’s also about shared interests. Do you serve customers who are interested in what you do for different reasons? Then tell your story differently for each group of customers.

Until you know who your audience is, you don’t know how to tell your story. Or where to tell it.

If you want to reach golfers,  talk to reporters who write for golfers. Do you want to reach senior citizens? Teachers? An ethnic or professional group? In each case, you’ll want to tell your story differently — and in different venues.

You can also “localize” your story by finding an exotic angle. For example, the Seattle Times carried a story some years ago about a Seattle-based chain of coffee stores opening its first store in Tokyo. The story had a local angle because the company was based in Seattle. But it was also interesting because of the exotic appeal of having a store in Tokyo. And travel magazines are all about news from exotic places you might want to visit.

Localizing your story is just one more way of saying you should make your story interesting to your audience. If you want us to pay attention to your story, don’t make it about you. Make it about how you can do something for us and why we should care.

That’s my two cents’ worth. What’s yours?


Jerry Brown, APR, is a public relations professional and former journalist. He specializes in helping clients develop the content they need to tell their stories. He also helps them develop strategies for getting their stories heard, understood and remembered. And he provides media training and presentation coaching for clients who need to tell their stories to reporters or in front of an audience. 303-594-8016 |

Listen to Jerry’s Tips for Telling Your Story every Tuesday at 10:05 a.m., Mountain Time, on the Experience Pros Radio Show on KLZ 560AM in Denver or at on the Internet. Missed it on the air? Listen to the archived tips.

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