News & Highlights

From Nardi Media

Local Media Placements With Liz, Lead Publicist At Nardi Media

Plenty of people eye-roll when I suggest pitching local media, but don’t knock on local media placements until you try it! Local media placements are an effective way to get your message across to communities who really care, but perhaps more importantly, they help build and generate awareness for your brand that is essential to landing national media!

So you might say, local media is VERY important, and I would even say necessary in most cases! I recently had the chance to go live on Instagram with Liz Palka, Lead Publicist at Nardi Media and former local media reporter, who broke down all things local media. We talk about why it matters, the best tactics for pitching local media, and how to get started on outreach.

Here’s a snapshot of what we chatted about:

A: Why is having a local media presence so important for building your brand and thought-leadership?
L: If you want to target a community regionally, this is the best way to do it. I’ve found that people really trust their local news outlets because they’ve known and watched/listened to/read their material for many years.

A: How do you get started pitching?
L: Think like a reporter. What might they need, what might be important to them, and what ties your story to that particular community? You can also localize a national story that speaks directly to that community. For TV, think about what journalists could be working on. Most also want photos and videos so make sure you have some on hand!

A: How do you stand out when pitching local media?
L: Your subject line should be unique, catchy, and as short as possible. Try leading with STORY IDEA. Also, do some research and figure out which reporters might like your story idea. Maybe they’ve done similar stories in the past, or maybe they’re tied to your story personally. Reach out to them individually.

A: What goes into a pitch?
L: Unless it’s a feature they’re working on or a long-term project, you should think about what’s newsworthy and timely right now. Address this in your pitch and how it relates to the local community, and share that you have an expert (or that you are the expert) to speak to this topic. Then write up takeaways and talking points in bullet form.

A: What is the lead time for local media pitching?
L: Shorter than longer, usually. Most local journalists don’t always have the luxury of planning out in advance. Sometimes the journalist will tell you to be prepared right away, other times you might have a few days to prepare.

A: Is it worth pitching local TV during a holiday week?
L: It’s definitely wise to pitch, whether a few days out or the day of the holiday. Journalists might be working on holiday-related stories but they’re also always looking for unique stories to cover.

A: How do you insert yourself into local news without looking too opportunistic?
L: Use local studies that support your story. The CDC for example has plenty of them. If it’s breaking news especially, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and call journalists to jump on the news as quickly as you can.

A: What are some ways to make connections to local media stories and journalists?
L: Start by researching the market and really learn and know the market. Be a student of the game. Research local reporters, read their bios, and see if there’s something you can pull out of that. When you find something they’re connected to, they’re more likely to approach your story idea with a little more zeal and energy. And don’t forget to follow them on Twitter!

A: What types of videos do you recommend sending to reporters?
L: Things are changing in local news all the time, so the best thing you can do is ask the reporter what they’re looking for and what would work best for them. And don’t forget the power of photos, which by the way, don’t have to be fancy. Cell phone or Instagram photos go a long way, and there are ways reporters can use them to create a video for TV segments.

A: Any parting thoughts?
L: Support your local news! Watch them, listen to them, grab the local paper! And don’t discount local news as an important way to get your message out. It really is a great way to build thought-leadership and brand presence.

CLICK HERE to watch the full IG LIVE with Ashley + Liz!

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Tracy Mccubbin

AUTHOR, MAKING SPACE, CLUTTER FREE

"The biggest piece of advice a first-time author is given is to “hire your own publicist,” but what they don’t tell you is to “hire your own Ashley.”  Looking back, I don’t know how I could have released my book without Ashley & her team.  We started working together before the book was published.  First local TV and small blogs and as I got more seasoned and the book got closer to coming, she booked me appearances on bigger and bigger outlets. 

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Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D.

New York Times Best Selling Author of Bright Line Eating: The Science of Living Happy, Thin, and Free

"The biggest piece of advice a first-time author is given is to “hire your own publicist,” but what they don’t tell you is to “hire your own Ashley.”  Looking back, I don’t know how I could have released my book without Ashley & her team.  We started working together before the book was published.  First local TV and small blogs and as I got more seasoned and the book got closer to coming, she booked me appearances on bigger and bigger outlets. 

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Susan McGinnis

Correspondent, CBS Newspath

“I am so pleased that Ashley is embarking on this new venture. For many years she has shined as an outstanding booker and producer at CBS News and at start-ups including Clean Skies News.  She was my first hire at Clean Skies, and was the shining star among the pack. She has always had  tremendous dedication to her work, and an untiring ability to accomplish whatever faces her, letting no obstacle stand in the way of an outstanding product.  She consistently goes above and beyond expectations, and never takes “no” as an answer, and never settles for less than outstanding. I would hire Ashley again. And again. And again.”

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Jennifer Oko

Partner, Mad Squid Media

“Ashley and I have worked together is a few different capacities, including CBS News, energyNOW!. I cannot say enough good things about her. Ashley is smart, thorough, quick, creative, and incredibly hard working. Most importantly, to be a successful media liaison and guest booker, relationships are everything. Ashley is a genuinely lovely person, and she wins the respect and trust of everyone she works with. She is the first person I call whenever I need a guest booker or segment producer.”

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Margaret Ryan

Energy Journalist & Analyst

“Ashley Bernardi is a dynamic professional who consistently produces excellent results.  In my three years working with Ashley as the head booker at Clean Skies News/EnergyNOW!, I never saw her fail to complete a job she had been assigned – and complete it admirably. Ashley is creative, energetic and goal-oriented, a true team player who works congenially with other professionals but can also be relied on to execute an assignment on her own. Ashley is the person I wanted on my team when I faced a challenging assignment!”

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Hardy Spire

Senior Producer, CNN’s Reliable Sources. Former General Manager at CleanSkies News and Senior Producer at CBS News.

“Ashley Bernardi has every rare quality in a TV producer — aggressiveness, insight, creativity, a strong work ethic, and pure charm.  She has all this plus she’s a kind and positive person.  And she has great contacts!”

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Silvio Marcacci

Principal, Marcacci Communications

“Ashley is hands down the best media trainer I’ve ever worked with, and she uses her considerable producing experience to make clients feel at ease and ready to learn. In addition, her ability to book clients on television and radio interviews is quite impressive – be ready for hours of interviews if you’re working with her!”

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Mary Jordan

Washington Post National Correspondent and Founding Editor of Washington Post Live

“There is nothing Ashley Bernardi cannot do when it comes to media.  She books top people for TV shows and national conferences and knows the business inside out. I worked closely with Ashley at the Washington Post  and she is not only savvy, but great to be around. She is the always cheerful, smart voice on the other end of the phone who persuades busy people to drop everything they are doing and do what Ashley tells them.”

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Scott Behson, PhD

best-selling author of The Working Dad’s Survival Guide: How to Succeed at Work and at Home

“I was a relatively unknown first-time author and Ashley was fantastic in getting my name out there, and ultimately booking me on national TV and radio, as well as major podcasts. She also provided top-notch media training and was always a great listener and advisor. Finally, she was on top of everything and we communicated constantly. I couldn’t have been happier about her efforts on behalf of my book launch!”

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Ron Friedman, Ph.D

author of The Best Place to Work: The Art and Science of Creating an Extraordinary Workplace

“Ashley Bernardi is extraordinary at her job in every way. Smart, strategic and relentlessly energetic, Ashley is someone I’d want on my team in any public relations campaign.”