Low Tech Local

In her popular blog EscapeFromCubicleNation , Pamela Slim recommended several things her readers can learn from media-darling and cooking- turned lifestyle expert Rachael Ray. One of those is ”to get national media, start local.”

Here is one easy way to plug into the local business scene: subscribers to Business Journals’ free email receive daily updates on the local business news of the cities of their choice. Subscribers can receive daily updates from many cities as a way to “start local” and be tuned in to local-level business buzz across the U.S.

Some software company owners might say, ‘what’s this talk of ‘media’ have to do with me, a small software company?’. To which, we need to look at the company’s target market.

For some products, more potential users read USA Today than Technorati.

While everyone schemes for a top Technorati spot, entrepreneurs too often ignore the more easily accessed local media. In the software world it is too easy to think of the blogosphere, forums, chat rooms, and SEO as the end-all to building your brand. Yet there is more out there. And it is in our own backyard. And it is in local ‘backyards’ across the nation.

Except for companies building programmer widgets, blogging tools, or other such products, customers are often not living in the same sphere of the typically technically talented company founders. While it may be that Technorati, delicious, and myspace have gone mainstream, there are – believe it or not – still people out there that don’t think you must have claimed your blog on Technorati to exist. And many read the local paper, the big city paper, the national paper, the magazines from Time to Us. And many of them could be customers.

So how do you get noticed in the low-tech local press. You tell a compelling story. Basically do the work for your local reporters and they’ll help you get the word out.

Tell a story.

Businesses that start local and have a compelling story to tell (not a press release about a new product, but an actual story) can gain instant publicity and credibility with local customers.

Even better: a business could end up like Rachael Ray – picked up by national press with coverage such as a mention on a Today Show piece about their customers’ industry or an Inc. Magazine piece on small business success. It could happen, so why not take a few moments from global-domination SEO efforts and give good old local customers a shot.