There are a lot of local London news channels on air, available to the public to give them ongoing updates on life in London. That means that you have a lot of competition. It only makes sense that the biggest city in the UK would attract a lot of news and therefore a lot of news stations, but if you are looking to stand out, you should look at our tips below.
Don’t stick to fluff
The first rule of reporting in a small town is that fluff isn’t your go-to. There will be a lot of it, since everyone and their mum has a charity bake sale to market, and you have a certain number of pages to fill. But Londoners expect better. You will lose credibility quickly if you are only focussing on Mrs Brown giving her cat a bath that week.
Crime isn’t the be all and end all of news, although, in London there is bound to be a lot of it. What are the politicians doing? Look through planning permission, public records, council meeting transcripts, and see what all the local authorities are doing, and what they’re planning.
What are the local businesses doing? Are any of them up for an award, or do they have a grievance they would like a light shone on? Talk to people in community-filled places, like community centres or the local pub and see what people are talking about.
Embrace social media
Every business, even journalism, can benefit greatly from social media. Sure, social media is considered a hub of misinformation, so your local news station must stand out as the one truthful voice in a sea of nonsense.
Social media is also a great form of marketing, and again, every business needs marketing – especially journalism, which is often a form of marketing in itself. There are those who believe that there is no such thing as bad press, the implication being that even if it’s bad press, you are getting attention, or marketing.
And so, it becomes important to engage on social media, and in fact a lot easier to engage on social media as a news source. You don’t have to come up with convoluted conversation starters to get engagement, because the story is the conversation starter. Neither do you have to back away from “risky” topics, because that is the point of journalism. You can create a story, edit it to fit any social media platform’s preferences and watch as the conversation evolves on your profiles. Red Bee Media’s OTT services will make cross-platform posting easy and, more importantly, high quality, so that you can be sure of professionalism wherever you are posting.
Make friends with the locals
An important but overlooked element of journalism is making friends. Movies and novels will portray journalists as manipulators, but ultimately, especially in local news, that comes down to being polite as much as possible, and sensitive when you are approaching sensitive subjects.
Think of people as customers, but at a business you really care about. You want to give them the best experience so that they come back and tell all their friends what good treatment you gave them.
Why is this important? Because every town has the gossip. Every town has that person who is involved in everything. Every town has an activist. And every town has politicians, even on a low level. Getting to know these characters will offer you an ever-flowing source of information. New stories will come in from all of them, and if they want to help you, because you are such a charming character, they will offer you their latest story.
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