How important is local TV to your media relations plan?

A recent Pew study found that TV news dominates local markets, but airtime for PR pitches is limited.

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If you want your pitch or press release to reach the most possible residents in a geographic region, TV might be the way to go, but hold on. There’s a big caveat.

The dominant role of local TV was one of the most significant takeaways from three-city study of local news conducted by Pew Research Center and financed by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and released this month.

The study examined local news climates in three U.S. metro markets: Denver; Macon, Georgia, and Sioux City, Iowa. One of the key findings was that local TV news grabbed the biggest audience share among all types of news media. Local surveys taken last year showed TV drew 68 percent of the local news audience in Sioux City, 66 percent in Macon and 58 percent in Denver.

Before you start shifting your media outreach more toward local TV, however, consider this: In five consecutive days of poring over news content in each city, researchers found traffic, weather and sports segments ate up about one-third of the TV newscasts.

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