An Outsider in Your Own Community
One problem facing traditional media in the hyperlocal arena occurs in the way that it reports and follows local events. The coverage and reporting is often times very distant, rarely embedded and very often lacking any true feelings, opinions or emotion.
This creates a distance with a hyperlocal audience thus turning them into “Outsiders” within their own community in which they live.
Attention is lost and local media gets placed into the category of mass media. What’s New? – Nothing!…. and Who Care becomes the attitude.
Boredom and apathy take over and the fallout is that the local media agency eventually lose credibility for being a reliable source of “Hyperlocal Information”.
Individuals giving attention to local media have intimate connections, relationships and loyalties which have existed for potentially generations within the communities in which they live. They know the people, places and things intimately and they have the expectation that local media being reported to them comes with the same level of proximity and access as they might have.
So how as a media professional do you go about capturing and reporting local events in a way that captures and intrigues your audience. How do you build intimacy with your audience and work utilize the true vantage point you can achieve at the hyperlocal level?
To begin with, you need to start with the obvious.
One of the most obvious failures of hyperlocal reporting / networking is that it simply fails to mention the secret handshakes or rituals which localize people, places or things. These secret handshakes, rituals or customs represent social proof and create validity the you are indeed an “Insider” and part of the community at the hyperlocal level.
At the hyperlocal level the audience expects an insider’s point of view, otherwise they might as well have just gone out and done the reporting themselves. Laugh you might but this is exactly the opportunity which is presenting itself in the local media / networking market today. The result of traditional media tactics gone array at the local level.
So how do you work with opinions or attitudes you might have when going local. How can you be a great reporter or representative for hyperlocal media if it might actually mean getting involved in the events that are occurring?
These are all good questions and one of the most important things you need to be aware of at the hyperlocal level of media is that you are expected to get involved.
Reporting from an outsider point of view destroys credibility and takes no steps forward towards building true hyperlocal relationship or engagement.
Thank for reading this, please post any questions or comments below. In my next blog I will address how to step across the line from bystander to participant in the hyperlocal arena.