Think Local: 5 Reasons to Target Local Op-Eds

Street sign that says Local above sidewalk in city

“Think big.”

That’s what we’re all told, right?

So naturally, when you start drafting your Op-Ed, national outlets with massive audiences seem like the dream.

But hold on… setting your sights on local outlets is often the more powerful choice.

Here’s why we see it that way.

#1. Go Local, Get Placed

Breaking through all the noise to get placed in a national outlet is a challenge. You need to address broad issues with widespread appeal. The competition is fierce—especially as the number of outlets publishing Op-Eds has shrunk in recent years.

When we target local outlets, though, we’re more likely to get a foot in the door.

Why? Because it’s easier to show why our message matters to the audience. We’re tackling local issues, using localized data and speaking directly to the community. There’s less competition, too. 

All that to say: tailoring an Op-Ed to a specific geographic area increases our chances of getting placed.

And that placement is the point! We want audiences to see what our partners have to say. On top of that, placement provides credibility. It says, “Hey, what this person is saying is important enough to get published here.”

“You want your words published and not because you paid for it,” says Liza Sacilioc. “And then you can circulate that, and you have third-party credibility.”

#2. Stretch Your Reach

The internet means that “nothing’s local anymore anyway,” says Julie Rosenthal.

Placement in a local outlet doesn’t limit your reach. The link can be shared far and wide through your website or social media.

That makes your local Op-Ed global. Your reach isn’t limited. Get placed first. And then once the outlet publishes your Op-Ed online, you can share it anywhere. 

You can also use your Op-Ed as a template and customize it for placement in multiple outlets in different parts of a region.

We did this to highlight the significance of United Way NCA’s ALICE report for communities in the DMV. We tailored our Op-Eds to the specific counties accounted for in the ALICE reports across D.C., Maryland and Virginia. This allowed us to include key data specific to each county, connecting what United Way NCA had to say to each community. It also made it possible to secure placement in Prince William Living and Prince George’s Post.

#3. Speak Directly to Your Audience

The local focus makes the message all the more compelling. 

When you pitch an Op-Ed to a national outlet, you need broad strokes—generalized information that can apply to a wider audience.

But when we go local, we delve into issues that directly impact the community. Specificity makes a stronger, more resonated connection. We can pinpoint the exact problem, provide local details and call for local solutions. 

When we do that, we help our partners build more authentic relationships with their audiences. 

#4. Spark Local Action

More than that, though, is that we can drive specific local action.

We can provide details and steps for the audience to make a real difference in their community. This could be anything from attending a town hall meeting to contacting a local representative about a specific bill or even volunteering with a local organization working on the issue.

#5. Focus on Local Impact

Instead of discussing a broad national trend, we can pinpoint a problem impacting the community.

A local focus lets us connect with the audience on a deeper level. We can use local statistics, anecdotes and success stories to share the issue’s tangible impact on the community.

Local impact is incredibly motivating for an audience. We can be clear about how our message can make a real-world difference in the audience’s day-to-day. That’s huge.

Partnering with Experts

That’s why we value thinking locally with Op-Eds.

Of course, if your organization or cause is truly national, targeting national outlets would be best. But we see so many advantages to targeting local outlets for Op-Ed placement.

Partnering with a communications agency with Op-Ed experience can be invaluable. We have relationships and knowledge to help you target the right outlets, tailor your message for maximum impact—and get the most out of every placement.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *