I am a big fan of community newspapers.  Yes.  It is true.  I wrote a column about their power for the Puget Sound Business Journal a while back, and the words ring true still today.

Today, the major metropolitan daily papers are getting thinner and thinner.   The available real estate to cover YOUR news just isn't there.   And yet your community newspapers are still being delivered to the doorsteps of every neighbor in your own hometown, and people read these papers.   More importantly, the stories travel online and beyond, bringing your news to a much wider audience of potential readers who can benefit from your story.

Not every story has the juice to land on the front page of the lifestyle section of the Seattle Times, but if you live on Queen Anne Hill and have a story to share, you can bet that the Queen Anne News is going to be interested.  What happens when that story breaks can be a game changer.

When in doubt, just remember the story of the soap maker from a suburb in California who got a call from the Secret Service to bring her line of toiletries for men to the store at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  A lucrative, multi-year licensing deal resulted as a result of THAT story in the community newspaper — along with major media in outlets including CNN, the Los Angeles Times, and Entrepreneur.com.    What could happen for you when YOUR story earns the ink to invite a conversation like that?   You'll never know until you try.  And I maintain that it is well worth it.

One more note about this.   Your credibility as a storyteller is on the line with every pitch you make.    You just don't pitch a story because you want to be in that particular paper.  You pitch a story because it is of service to the readers, listeners, or viewers and it truly has the legs to run within that editorial environment.   You don't want to earn a reputation of someone who pitches stories that aren't a good fit because that sure makes it hard to go back the next time to pitch a story that IS the right fit.   Your reputation as a good storyteller is on the line, so make sure you get it right so reporters and others in a position of influence are routinely happy to hear from you — not just this time, but every time.